Principal Author: Daniel Carpenter, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
Professional learning communities are one of the leading school reform movements. Schools have shifted to a collaborative culture where administrators and teachers physically and intellectually interact using a collaborative inquiry process for professional learning. The workspace interactions include shared leadership, decision-making, teaching and learning practice, and accountability measures. Attributes and characteristics of effective collaboration and professional learning communities greatly affect the outcomes of professional learning communities. An emergent framework is provided that includes attributes of effective collaboration and the characteristics of effective professional learning communities that merge into intellectual and physical shared workspace. Recommendations are provided on the role administrators and teacher leaders play in using the frameworks to ensure greater emergence of activities and products from the collaborative inquiry process.
Principal Author: Liz Bergeron, University of Wisconsin- La CrosseAbstract:
This paper discusses the use of course embedded undergraduate research to deepen pre-service teacher understanding of Nature of Science (NOS). Discussion will focus on the course activity and results from the undergraduate research project. Undergraduate science education students evaluated existing NOS instruments, designed a tool to assess in-service teachers’ understanding of NOS, collected data from in-service teachers, and analyzed their data. By enabling pre-service teachers to evaluate instruments and design their own instrument they truly developed a deep understanding of the NOS. More important than the design of items was the evaluation conducted by the pre-service teachers. The process of designing items was helpful in developing their understanding of NOS. But, when they evaluated responses from the in-service teachers their understanding was challenged and this resulted in higher level thinking. As one pre-service teacher stated, “the data opened my eyes to the gap between understanding and implementation that exists for, I would assume, many teachers.”
Principal Author: Anne Pfitzner. Gatling, Merrimack CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith Houle-Vaughn, San Diego State
With the growing number of English Language Learners (ELL) in our classrooms, it is important that our teachers have the skills to meet the needs of this population. Elementary and early childhood teachers can play an important role in developing both the science and English language development. However, English Language Learners (ELLs) are faced with two challenges in the science classroom, learning subject matter, and reaching English language proficiency. In this study, we will examine how a scaffolded activity in which preservice teachers work to interpret the science and engineering ideas of ELLs’ writing influences their professional noticing of science ideas. As a part of this activity we utilize a rubric to assess ELL students’ written observations of scientific phenomena over time. We developed this intervention through observations of the classroom, and analysis of the learning goals set by the teacher and the curriculum (Foss, 2005), we identified five scientific ideas students were to express in their writing. These areas were: description of the attributes, comparison of two objects, time sequencing, predictions, and explanations indicating causation. We designed the rubric to be both specific to this writing context as well as generalizable so that it could be customized other scientific writing projects. It is important to note that this rubric was designed to capture the presence or absence of these scientific ideas, not the quality. Specifically, this research will compare the experiences of preservice teachers enrolled in one of three settings: 1) a field-based, authentic experience science methods course, 2) a university-based science methods course, or 3) a university-based course with preservice teachers placed in a classroom. It examines the impact of this intervention on these preservice teachers’ ability to recognize ELL student learning based on their written science explanations as evidenced by related group discussion, student assignments and recognition of student learning based on ELL student writing samples.
Principal Author: David Seis, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida
A mentoring structure is necessary for the success of research experiences for undergraduates (REUs). In this study we looked at changes in the mentoring styles of graduate student mentors and the undergraduate researcher’s (URs) mentoring preferences during a 10-week summer research experience structured as an apprenticeship. We also sought to understand the dissonance between reported mentor and mentee expectations for behavior and what actually happened within research groups. Data were collected through the use of survey instruments and observations of the research groups. Data were analyzed using coding of qualitative data and descriptive statistics. We found that URs reported that they were more satisfied with the program, more comfortable with their research, and more likely to go to graduate school within a high-support, high-quality relationship. We also found that those URs who reported the most gains had similar quantification of growth over time compared to their mentor. Our observations suggest a variable sensitivity to mentor behavior among URs; however, our data suggest that effective mentoring had a major effect on their motivation and growth as researchers. The implication of this is that simply having a mentor is not enough; one must also consider the match between the mentor and the mentee. We believe that if this is generally true, then it has consequences for the structure of current induction and mentoring programs and their ability to influence the retention of new science teachers.
Principal Author: Annmarie R.. Ward, Penn State UniversityAbstract:
This paper describes the development and initial implementation of the Modeling Authentic STEM Research (MASTER) Model, a systems thinking-based model for helping teachers understand the nature of authentic science and engineering research. This model provides a novel approach that narrows the gap between teachers’ limited authentic research experience and demands of reform documents for science teachers to use the practices of science to teach core ideas and cross cutting concepts. The MASTER Model includes two components: 1) the MASTER Framework, a graphic representation of the systems nature of research, and 2) the MASTER Process, which consists of guidelines for implementing the model in a variety of teacher education and professional development contexts. Initial results of pre and post-focus groups, interviews, and lesson plan development demonstrate an increase in teachers’ understanding of the systems nature of STEM research, and how that complexity can be represented and used in the classroom for designing and implementing classroom lessons and research projects as a better alternative to the traditional Scientific Method.
Principal Author: Eunmi Lee, DePaul UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bryan Meeker, DePaul University
Models and modeling are described at length within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as being useful components of an effective science curriculum and have been analyzed in the literature. However, much of this research lacks real-world examples and usable techniques for instructors, creating misunderstanding about models and modeling. In an effort to understand the gap between standards and teaching practices, the purpose of this study is to examine pre-service secondary science teachers’ understandings of different types of models and modeling through calibrating the descriptions of models and modeling in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). To simplify the numerous different descriptions of models and modeling while working to maintain their application in the classroom, in-depth analysis of model-related performance expectations in NGSS was conducted. Through this process, models are categorized into either physical or conceptual constructs with the intent to represent a system or components to aid in the development and refinement of ideas. Modeling that is the process by which scientists, instructors, and students create, evaluate, and refine their own models of the world, represents a system or components to help the development of questions, and explanations, generate data for making predictions, and communicate ideas. Based on intensive understanding of previous literature and NGSS modeling statements, two categories for models ⎯physical and conceptual ⎯and three categories for modeling ⎯ illustrative, expository, and explanatory ⎯have been generated and this served as a framework for data analysis. Collected data in the format of interviews, concept maps, and instructional materials were analyzed using the framework to define types of a model and modeling. Results of this study reveal a limited understanding of the use of models and modeling as shown by an overwhelming preference for only physical models for the purpose of illustration. It is clear that a gap exists between the established standards and actual teacher practice.
Principal Author: Walid M. Shihabi, Tulsa Community College/ Assistant ProfessorAbstract:
Co-Authors: Edmund A. Marek, University of Oklahoma
Science education standards suggested that children in early elementary school learn the observable phases of the moon and the apparent celestial motion of the sun, stars, and moon throughout the day. This study explores the cultural congruence of specific national elementary education standards focused on the apparent motion of the sun and moon phases with elementary school age American Muslim students’ antecedent knowledge relevant to their religious practices. Understanding any congruence between national education standards and Muslim cultural knowledge will aid in designing culturally responsive and contextually relevant instruction of science knowledge. This instruction utilizes cultural referents, meaningful to the children, to anchor knowledge and to facilitate conceptual understanding. The study included interviews with sixteen children at the end of their early elementary education i.e. fourth grade, at an Islamic private school in the Midwest. Themes emerged on how observing daily prayers and celebrating holy months had impacted their conceptions of the apparent patterns of the sun motion and moon phases prescribed by the science education standards. The themes are as follow (a) Prayer times and sun apparent motion (b) The change in prayer times and the gradual shift in the sun path throughout the year (c) Observing lunar holy months and phases of the moon. The results of the study were compared, in a tabular format, with studies conducted at public school’s students. Results revealed that cultural practices have constructed pre-conceptions that the students bring to the school and thus have direct effect on their understanding to the pertinent national standards. These pre-conceptions, positive as well as negative, were discussed within the context of cultural influence on antecedent knowledge in the science classroom
Principal Author: Nate Carnes, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
Historically, course evaluations have been used as evidence to judge how well an instructor teaches and are designed to provide feedback to college and university instructors, including science teacher educators, and their respective administrators. Inquiries about course evaluations and issues associated with them are not new and have drawn the interest of those within and outside of science teacher education. While numerous scholarly reports and perspectives on course evaluations exist, very few studies sought out the thoughts of them that complete these evaluations.
My exploratory case study seeks to understand recent graduates’ perspectives on formal course evaluations and answer three questions. What do teacher candidates think about when they are evaluating a course? What factors or thoughts influence how they evaluate the instructor and/or the course? What do the teacher candidates’ responses to the various evaluation items mean? Similar to an experiment cited by Gray & Bergmann (2003), the responses of three teacher candidates indicated that the perception of course experiences and level of rapport with the course instructor were key factors that determined how they rated the course and instructor. Course experiences that were very positive or negative served as motivation for completing course evaluations. Otherwise, the teacher candidates are less likely to complete them or respond thoughtfully. Educators that took personal interest in the candidates and in their academic welfare received higher ratings. In response to the third question, multifaceted course evaluation items are ambiguous and confusing to teacher candidates, leading to spurious responses. Consistent with the Association of American University Professors (AAUP) Committee on Teaching, Research, and Publication’s concerns, numerical ratings may be misunderstood and/or misinterpreted. The use of additional evidence (i.e. candidates’ comments and self- evaluations) and opportunities for faculty involvement in developing and implementing evaluations may help ameliorate these problems.
Principal Author: Brian D. Hartman, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kimi Grzyb, Oregon State University; Kate Field, Oregon State University
This study developed a framework for developing bioenergy curriculum in K12 settings. Bioenergy represents a unique opportunity for educators to integrate disciplines such as engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics that are treated as largely independent disciplines. Bioenergy provides a platform for application of these disciplinary concepts in ways that inform students about current issues they may need to act on in the future. In order to guide future bioenergy education research and practice a core set of essential K12 education concepts needs to be developed. To this end, educators and researchers (N=20) from the bioenergy community were recruited to participate on an expert panel that was charged with developing a consensus on the essential bioenergy concepts for K12 students. A traditional three-round Delphi methodology was used to foster a consensus around core bioenergy concepts. In round 1 of this mixed-method approach the experts were asked to list all the concepts they believed were essential to teaching bioenergy at the K12 level. The participant’s responses were qualitatively coded for bioenergy concept themes. In round 2, experts were asked to rate (1=non-essential to 5=essential) the list of concept themes on whether they were essential. Concepts with a rating below 4 were removed from the list as not being essential. In Round 3, participants again rated the shortened list on how important they were to K12 bioenergy education. The final list included concepts such as energy requirements, conversion technologies, and life cycle analysis. The resulting framework will provide direction for future curriculum development s efforts and will be a framework for research in alternative energy education.
Principal Author: Mark A. Bloom, Dallas Baptist UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Catherine M. Koehler, Southern Connecticut State University; Ian C. Binns, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This study is part of a larger project that investigates how mainstream films portray nature of science (NOS), scientific inquiry (SI), and the dispositions of scientists (DOS) (Author, 2015). The purpose of this study is to add to the growing body of knowledge that the use of films can be used as strategy to foster change in students’ conceptions of the scientist. We have previously hypothesized how people develop their conceptions, now we have evidence to support these claims. Participants in this study included 82 elementary preservice teachers (PSTs): 79 females and 3 males. Using a pre-post design, students were given a prompt at the beginning and at the end of the semester and were asked to draw their conception of a scientist. Findings indicate that students’ conceptions of a scientist changed noting that post-course drawings were primarily female and many students realized that they too could be a scientist. This study adds to the growing body of research about Draw-A-Scientist (DAST) literature.
Principal Author: Lori Andersen, University of KansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lori Andersen, University of Kansas
Very little research exists on teaching science to students with significant cognitive disabilities (Browder et al., 2012; Courtade, Spooner, & Browder, 2007), even though access to content that is linked to the general education science standards is mandated. Meeting mandates requires significant shifts in current science teaching practices because these students have been typically taught a life skills-based curriculum and/or science content at substantially lower cognitive levels than the content taught to their age peers (Karvonen et al., 2011).
Universal Design for Learning is a framework for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for all students. Students with significant cognitive disabilities have a wide variety of cognitive profiles. Such profiles need to be considered, particularly as to how science teaching could be designed to make science learning accessible to all students despite cognitive differences.
The expectations of what students with significant cognitive disabilities should learn in science have increased. A primary challenge is that teachers of these students typically have limited knowledge of teaching science. A potential solution is for special educators to collaborate with science teachers, but science teachers generally have limited knowledge of or experience with these students. Other significant challenges include the identification of appropriate learning goals for these students (that include age-appropriate science content), the adaptation of existing methods to teach science content to this population, and accessible assessments of science learning.
A consortium of four states collaborated to develop new alternate science standards, a large-scale assessment of those standards, and models of science instruction for teachers.
In this presentation, attendees will learn about the development of new alternate science standards and assessments using Universal Design for Learning. Evidence from ongoing research and development will be presented.
Principal Author: Young Ae Kim, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Steve Oliver, University of Georgia
The new framework for K-12 science education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013) suggest developing and using models as one of the core practices in science education. Model/Modeling Based Instruction (MBI) have been increased in its popularity in science classroom. Although more professional modeling instruction and instructional materials are available, many prospective teachers are still not familiar with developing and using models, and how to assess the student learning outcomes using models and modeling. Some scholars (Schwartz, 2009; Danusso et al., 2010) reported prospective teachers’ confusions around modeling and inquiry practices. Prospective teachers need to understand how to align instructional strategies and activities to learning objectives and assess students’ learning progressions through modeling. In this study, we examined the literature related to science teacher preparation programs that address the use of models and modeling in the context of teacher education. We sought to: a) analyze the prominent features about prospective teachers’ understanding of the modeling practices and the assessment of models/modeling in science education research, b) investigate how teacher preparation program can be better designed and implemented to accommodate modeling practice and its assessment in science classrooms. This presentation highlights what we learned in the literature about modeling practices related to prospective teachers; five prominent features in modeling research in teacher preparation program were found; 1) Most of the Research Focuses on Teachers’ Knowledge about Modeling, 2) The Importance of Experiencing Modeling, 3) Prospective Teachers Struggle with Learning Models and Modeling, 4) Modeling with Technology, 5)Few Studies Have Been Conducted on Prospective Teachers’ Views of the Assessment of Modeling and Modeling in Engineering. We then discuss suggestions about design principles to promote prospective teachers’ understanding about modeling practices and its assessment in teacher preparation programs.
Principal Author: Patricia Bills, Northern Kentucky UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Madhura Kulkarni, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics; Reeda Hart, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics
Leaders from industry, government and education call for improved STEM education at all levels. Students and their teachers face a daunting challenge implementing the NGSS in their classrooms. The Next Generation STEM Classroom project (ngSC) is our attempt to help teachers with this task.
The ngSC is an innovative, embedded, two-part professional development program for elementary teachers. It is currently being implemented across 19 school districts in Northern Kentucky. Master teachers from the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics lead four PD sessions in each participating district (n=19) during each school year with teachers from primary and intermediate grades.
Each session comprises two segments. During the first segment—the “Fishbowl”—participants observe while the MT models best practices in teaching a STEM lesson to students in their regular classroom. This segment is a unique feature of this PD model in that it offers teachers the opportunity to experience PD in their own school context, with their own students, in real time.
After the class is over, the participants and MTs convene for the second segment, the “RECAP”. RECAP stands for Reflection and Exploration of Content, Alignment, and Pedagogy. Here, teachers reflect on the best practices they observed in the Fishbowl and explore science content and alignment to NGSS and assessment programs.
This paper reports on survey data (812 responses) collected during the 2014 school year. The surveys, a combination of Likert scale items and open-ended writing prompts, gauge participants’ reactions to the PD and its impact on their teaching, their students, and their schools. In short, teachers responded overwhelmingly that they feel better prepared to teach science using inquiry-based strategies especially in light of the NGSS. We outline several specific components of the PD we found to be most impactful to teachers' practices. This session will be of interest to those interested in professional development models for elementary teachers.
Principal Author: Rose M.. Pringle, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lynda Hayes, P.K. Yonge Development Research School; Leela Kumaran, University of Florida; Natalie S.. King, University of Florida; Jennifer Mesa, University of West Florida
Historical structures and reward systems in Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) do not always give credence to K-12 partnerships resulting in socializing faculty away from public service even at institutions with strong service traditions (Jaeger & Thornton, 2008). However, increased accountability for students’ science achievement and the development of a 21st century scientifically literate population have influenced public schools and IHE to develop partnerships leading to science teachers with a deeper understanding of disciplinary content knowledge. We subscribe to the notion that well-planned learning experiences involving STEM disciplinary faculty can deepen content knowledge and contribute to teachers’ effectiveness. How then do scientists experience, describe, and understand a partnership that seeks to position middle school teachers as local experts?
In this study, we examined how four scientists engaged in the delivery of formal science courses for middle grade science teachers experienced and described the phenomenon of partnership within the context of a NSF-MSP. Drawing on qualitative analyses (Charmaz, 2006; Creswell, 2003), all interviews were transcribed, carefully read and through explicit analytic procedures, we identified four themes, which collectively described the essence of the partnership as experienced by the scientists. The partnership provided a common set of purposes within which the scientists described their work to enhance science teacher knowledge and improve student achievement. The scientists occupied varied academic ranks and recognized their importance as partners in improving teacher quality. They made specific connections to the mutual benefits across the disciplines especially disciplinary science and science education with its embrace of effective pedagogy and of how children learn science. Furthermore, all participants framed their engagement with K-12 education as vital toward the enhancement of science in the society but were concerned with the lack of credence given to their work with K-12 education.
Principal Author: Kathryn "Annie" Arnone, University of MissouriAbstract:
According to the PCAST report (2010), educators must work to prepare students so they have a firm foundation in STEM subjects as well as inspiring students so that all are motivated to study STEM subjects in school (PCAST, p. 5). The PCAST report is a call to action in promoting the importance of STEM Education throughout all grade levels. Reforms in education such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), promote elements of STEM Education, such as engineering design and scientific practices. However, research suggests that reforms such as the NGSS are not enough to ensure students experience STEM Education experiences. Trygstad, et al. (2013) from Horizon Research Inc., points out the following:
The NGSS weaves engineering concepts through the standards, and fewer than 5 percent of elementary science teachers have had college coursework in engineering, suggesting that the vast majority of teachers will need substantial professional development in this area (Trygstad, 2013, p. 3)
In order to address the challenges outlined in the PCAST report, elementary teachers need opportunities for professional development that fits into their schedules and works to increase their knowledge of STEM Education. In this session, the presenter will share the research, design and implementation of an online STEM Education course targeted at in-service elementary teachers.
Principal Author: EDWARD LYON, SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITYAbstract:
This presentation reports on preliminary findings from observations of secondary science teachers’ assessment practices before participating in professional development to enhance how they can assess science in classrooms with English Learners (ELs). Scores from using an observation rubric with 15 science teachers indicates that teachers’ integration of literacy in science assessment activities were particularly less likely to be observed, and teachers did not demonstrate knowledge of how to use assessment in support of student learning, or how to use language as a resource when assessing ELs in science. These findings are of particular importance given the emphasis on disciplinary-literacy in both Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core. Analysis of the distribution of scores related to implementing practices –promoting of scientific/engineering practices, literacy in science assessment, and accessible assessment – allows for the further characterization of “low” vs. “high” implementers of ambitious assessment practices. These findings can allow science teacher education to better understand how to examine and characterize science teachers’ assessment practices, as well as ways to support them.
Principal Author: Luke C. Lyons, Texas A&M UniversityAbstract:
Current and future science teachers need to be able to teach in multiple realms of science throughout their careers. Today's preservice teachers are being trained to incorporate hands-on, student centered pedagogical practices that engage students in the process of learning. A combination of adaptability and student-centered practices can help our preservice teachers turn these principles into a reality.
Dinosaur Dig is a hands-on training lab where preservice teachers will learn how to integrate inquiry practices, Earth and life science content standards within one problem-based activity. Preservice teachers, especially in elementary and middle grades, will have to be well versed in both Earth and life science, while maintaining an engaging environment for their students to learn. Dinosaurs can be used to peak the students curiosity. Although dinosaurs are not a standard in the Next Generation Science Standards, National Science Education Standards or in many state curriculum guidelines, these prehistoric creatures can be used as a natural way to involve students in science. Throughout the course of the Dinosaur Dig activity, preservice teachers have to engage in many practices that they will instill in their future classrooms. A group dynamic is placed upon the activity, thus forming roles and developing an investigation plan are keys to success. Preservice teachers will be provided with a Dinosaur Dig rock quarry with different representative geological layers with various dinosaur fossils intermixed throughout. They are also given a "field guide" that offers more than enough information about the specimens they may find throughout the dig. During the dig, preservice teachers will excavate fossils, identify specimens and use the information to carryout multiple consequential tasks including the development of a topographical map with fossil locations, a cladogram representing evolution and extinctions of identified species and a geological time scale of the Dinosaur Dig quarry.
Principal Author: Nigel Standish, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Glen Bull, University of Virginia; David Slykhuis, James Madison University
During the second industrial revolution (mid-19th century to 1914), science was applied to engineering on a large scale for the first time. An often-untold part of the American experience, the result was many of the great innovations that shaped the world (i.e., telegraph, electric motors, telephone, radio). Today, students are surrounded by technology that was made possible by these early predecessors; however, modern technology is complex and opaque, challenging for even technology professionals to truly understand. Students have an even more difficult time. This issue has been compounded by the disconnected method in which STEM is taught: detailed knowledge proceeds in an abstract sequence from general principles.
The simplicity of the early inventions means these apparatuses have tangible components that can be deconstructed and understood by students through the powerful learning process of reverse engineering. Increasingly inexpensive advanced manufacturing technology like 3D printers and student-friendly computer-aided design programs make this same experience possible for students in a K-12 environment.
Collaborators from the Smithsonian and professors of engineering and education at the University of Virginia and Princeton University identified a trajectory of great inventions to teach science and engineering through the creation of Smithsonian Invention Kits. These kits are based on key inventions that changed the nation such as the telegraph and the telephone. Smithsonian Invention Kits will include resources to re-create these inventions, including a year-long science and engineering curriculum, 3D scans and animations, and online support.
Principal Author: Stefano Di Tommaso, University of Western OntarioAbstract:
Co-Authors: Isha DeCoito, University of Western Ontario; Wanja Gitari, University of Toronto
The values and philosophy held by many Aboriginal people and communities makes the issue of increasing Aboriginal participation in science and technology a particularly thorny and urgent one. Science curricula, in particular, tend to focus on Western science and in so doing ignore Indigenous epistemologies and aspirations. This study explored the implementation of a science outreach program in an Aboriginal school in Ontario, Canada. The findings reported here focuses on the research that dealt with teachers' views on teaching and learning of science at the school. Findings highlight the need for relevance in Aboriginal schools, the importance of knowledge transfer in Aboriginal schools and communities, and teacher confidence as an important factor in teaching science at this school.
Principal Author: Angela W. Webb, Louisiana State UniversityAbstract:
Issues of effectively teaching English language learners are paramount in science, a discipline with specific, complex vocabulary that resembles a foreign language for students to grasp and master. Using language learning experiences, this study sought to impact pre-service elementary teachers’ perceptions and awareness of the science learning experiences of English language learners. By assuming the role of language learners during two brief, back-to-back science lessons taught in French, pre-service elementary teachers gained a deeper understanding of the role of appropriate scaffolding to ensure that each student has a teacher prepared to respond to his or her linguistic and cultural needs.
Principal Author: Carrie J. Miller-DeBoer, University of OklahomaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Timothy A.. Laubach, University of Oklahoma
Writing instruction is often emphasized throughout the curriculum, including the science classroom. However, low writing instruction efficacy, sometimes attributed to teachers’ writing histories, often blocks educators from teaching writing confidently and efficiently. This explanatory sequential mixed methods study investigated science teacher writing instruction efficacy beliefs and identified antecedents to high writing instruction efficacy beliefs. Quantitative data from an online survey that included the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) and the Writer Self-Perception Scale (WSPS) were collected from 46 secondary science teachers and analyzed in the first phase. The results of the quantitative phase then guided the development of the second, qualitative phase, which also included data collection and analysis. Responses from the 46 science teachers to two sets of two open-ended statements were coded into themes during the second phase and, using TSES scores, four teachers with high science writing instruction efficacy beliefs were identified and interviewed. Science writing instruction efficacy beliefs of these science teachers ranged from mid- to high-levels. Thus, the lowest efficacy teachers felt that they had at least some influence when teaching science writing and the highest efficacy teachers felt they had a great deal of influence when teaching science writing. Science teachers with the highest science writing instruction efficacy beliefs valued science writing, used writing to learn strategies, had experience teaching and integrating writing into their science classes, faced but were not focused on barriers to integrating science writing, displayed an inner locus of control, were self-directed learners and collaborated with colleagues.
Principal Author: Min Jung Lee, Teachers College, Columbia UniversiyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia Universiy
Nature of Science (NOS) has been a goal in science education since 1900s. However, it is still an alien topic in Asian science education community. There are not many studies that measured the non-Western teachers’ view of NOS compared to Western teachers. Thus, this pilot study qualitatively explored three Asian Chemistry teacher’s view on NOS with survey, open-ended interviews, and a lesson plan. Their understandings of NOS were generally consistent with contemporary conception of NOS. However, Asian teachers had a stronger belief on the distorted conceptions of NOS than non-Western teachers. For example, they vaguely understood that science is tentative and that the social and creativity factors affect the study of science. As the Asian teachers think more about NOS, they seem concerned with their understanding of science and felt uncomfortable. In addition, though the Asian teachers realized the importance of introducing NOS to students, they did not know how to properly present it to the students. Thus, this paper urges the Asian science education community to construct professional development programs that emphasizes the understanding and implementation of NOS based on their culture. In addition, more communication between the Western and non-Western science education community is encouraged to make a big progression in science and science education.
Principal Author: Marco A.. Nava, Los Angeles Unified School DistrictAbstract:
Co-Authors: Imelda L.. Nava, UCLA
Women and under-represented minorities are critically under-represented in STEM fields. The STEM gap emerges early for both women and underrepresented minorities (URM). Media, societal constructs, and self-perceptions can often shape attainment beliefs in STEM. What does media, both formal and informal convey about who are scientists in the world? The STEM gap is generated by various societal and personal constructs. However, if we are to meet the issues of tomorrow all students must have access and support, specifically underrepresented minorities and women interested in STEM. Feelings of competence and acceptance are key in developing a positive identity in STEM fields. We propose an experiential session where we address personal experiences in shaping STEM identity. Participants reflect on their own personal experiences as well as societal messages in analyzing their own STEM identity. The development of a STEM identity allows us to address what drives us in STEM, or perhaps what has challenged us in STEM. Developing a resilience and awareness regarding STEM identity is an initial step in addressing STEM microaggressions and STEM’s perceived cultural neutrality, which is a culture within itself. Emerging themes of self-efficacy, performance in STEM and acceptance are explored within the context of larger societal and personal constructs.
Principal Author: Gina M. ChildersAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Gail. Jones, NCSU
Remote access technologies offer unique learning experiences that allow students to become virtual researchers. The purpose of this study was to explore factors of a successful remote learning environment model by documenting high school students’ (n = 72) perceptions of science motivation, science identity, and virtual presence during a remote microscopy investigation. An exploratory factor analysis identified three constructs that contribute to a successful remote investigation: Science Learning Drive (students’ perception of their competence and performance in science and intrinsic motivation to do science), Environmental Presence (students’ perception of control of the remote technology, sensory and distraction factors in the learning environment, and relatedness to scientists), and Inner Realism Presence (students’ perceptions of the realness of the remote program and being recognized as a science-oriented individual) . By investigating the factors that support science learning through virtual tools (e.g. remote technologies), teachers will be able to support students during virtual learning sessions.
Principal Author: Shiyu Liu, The Pennsylvania State UniversityAbstract:
Enlarging the pipeline of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors is a critical yet challenging task in education. While great efforts have been made to enhance K-12 STEM education, many students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, have been found under-prepared for STEM learning in postsecondary education. The present study explored the cognitive and affective factors that underlie college freshmen’s readiness for STEM learning. Forty-nine students from underrepresented backgrounds participated in this mixed methods study. Findings from surveys revealed that students held relatively lower self-efficacy in chemistry learning compared to physics and mathematics. Overall, male students demonstrated significantly higher self-efficacy in science and math learning and lower math anxiety than females. In-depth interviews with students further revealed that students’ self-efficacy and math anxiety were closely associated with their perceived effectiveness of math and science curricula in their secondary education as well as the mismatch between teachers’ pedagogical approaches and their learning processes. The present study provided important implications for the current efforts in bridging K-12 and postsecondary STEM education. Researchers in the community of science teacher education will find this work informative as they promote reforms in STEM education to encourage and prepare underrepresented students for entering STEM.
Principal Author: Jonah B. Firestone, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Judith Morrison, Washington State University; Laura Grant, Washington State University
In order to address the rise in attention to technology and engineering, schools are re-designing their curricula to be inclusive of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) vocabulary and practices across all disciplines. At the same time, districts are opening elementary, middle, and high schools that specialize in STEM education. While there are many studies of middle and high school STEM programs (Thomas & Williams, 2009) there are virtually no studies on elementary STEM schools and even fewer studies examining teacher beliefs. These beliefs are important to teachers’ practice, as they shape decisions in terms of instruction and influence the representation of content in the classroom (Jones & Carter, 2007). A study of teachers (N=13) at a new elementary STEM school in a suburban district in Washington sheds light on the changing understanding and beliefs that teachers, new to STEM, have about science and engineering and their role in classroom pedagogy. Findings from the qualitative analysis of observations and interviews with the teachers indicate that their beliefs about STEM develop positively, yet slowly and integration of mathematics into the other STEM content areas is surprisingly difficult.
Principal Author: Nermeen Dashoush, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Mensah, Columbia University
In this study, I draw upon Communities of Practice as a theoretical framework to help establish a community between a teacher and a scientist. Carlone and Johnson’s (2007) Model for Science Identity is also used to create an understanding of the individual professional needs of the members of the community as they negotiate roles and meet their identified goals. The participants included an elementary educator in her fifth year of teaching and a microbiologist with approximately thirty years experience in the field. They set out to create a science unit for a mixed kindergarten and first grade afterschool science program. Their interactions solidified the use of research based successful practices within a community and also manifested new practices, including: (a) pre-planning visit, (b) use of a personal topic of interest, (c) expansion of the community, and (d) negotiation of roles within the classroom. The findings of this study have implications identifying practices to be used in forging mutually beneficial communities between elementary educators and scientists as a means of strengthening both professions.
Principal Author: Jennifer Albert, The CitadelAbstract:
In a promotional video recently released by code.org (2013), Will.i.am states “great coders are today’s rock stars”. However, introducing computational thinking into K-12 curricula has been a long and slow process. This paper describes efforts to develop computational thinking activities that can be easily implemented in any science classroom. Studies have shown that a set of conditions must be met for computational thinking tools to be used in K-12 education and that when they are used, there is a wide spectrum in the level of computational thinking that the tool enables. This study extends this work by examining how middle school students translate their science fair projects in Scratch and what evidence of computational thinking is present. Overall, it was found that most students simply created a presentation of their project without much complexity. They did not use more complex features such as loops or conditionals. Eight students created interactive projects that required user participation and used more advanced computational concepts. Finally, recommendations are given for next steps in the creation of a series of activities that would scaffold student learning as they applied computational thinking concepts to a science concept. These activities will help science teacher educators better prepare science teachers to address computational thinking in their classrooms.
Principal Author: David Kimori, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara Billington, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
Research on assessment at the classroom level usually takes an assessment-centered, teacher-centered, or student-centered approach. Assessment-centered research focuses on the technical quality (validity and reliability) and fairness of traditional multiple-choice tests and alternative assessment strategies (Klassen, 2006). For instance, researchers have found that cultural and linguistic features of multiple-choice test items may disadvantage students of color and new immigrants (Martiniello, 2008; Solano-Flores & Nelson-Barber, 2001). The emerging paradigm in assessment argues for teachers to assess student thinking, as opposed to factual recall, thus calling for alternative-performance, project, and portfolio-based assessments that would align with constructivist and sociocultural views of learning (Resnick & Resnick, 1992; Shepard, 2000). In this study three science teacher candidates’ field experience in assessing students is documented. Data analysis was based upon open prompt surveys, 15 EdTPA artifacts collected from the three teacher candidates and individual interviews. Findings indicate that science teacher candidates make deliberate effort in giving students feedback that can guide students for further learning but they struggle with strategies that can encourage students use the feedback given to them. We argue that broadening how we analyze assessment and the feedback we give to students in science classes should not only indicate the right or wrong responses but act as a guide for future learning and motivate the students on their strengths as well.
Principal Author: David Kimori, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara Billington, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
Research on assessment at the classroom level usually takes an assessment-centered, teacher-centered, or student-centered approach. Assessment-centered research focuses on the technical quality (validity and reliability) and fairness of traditional multiple-choice tests and alternative assessment strategies (Klassen, 2006). For instance, researchers have found that cultural and linguistic features of multiple-choice test items may disadvantage students of color and new immigrants (Martiniello, 2008; Solano-Flores & Nelson-Barber, 2001). The emerging paradigm in assessment argues for teachers to assess student thinking, as opposed to factual recall, thus calling for alternative-performance, project, and portfolio-based assessments that would align with constructivist and sociocultural views of learning (Resnick & Resnick, 1992; Shepard, 2000). In this study three science teacher candidates’ field experience in assessing students is documented. Data analysis was based upon open prompt surveys, 15 EdTPA artifacts collected from the three teacher candidates and individual interviews. Findings indicate that science teacher candidates make deliberate effort in giving students feedback that can guide students for further learning but they struggle with strategies that can encourage students use the feedback given to them. We argue that broadening how we analyze assessment and the feedback we give to students in science classes should not only indicate the right or wrong responses but act as a guide for future learning and motivate the students on their strengths as well.
Principal Author: Richard Lamb, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Leonard Annetta, George Mason University; Jonah Firestone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; David Vallett, University of Nevada Las Vegas; Marina Shapiro, George Mason University; Ben Matthews, George Mason University
Educational games and simulations provide teachers with powerful tools for teaching students in the sciences. There are several types of games within the broad category of educational gaming including Serious Educational Games (SEG), simulations, and Serious Games (SG). In the educational setting, there are often factors that mediate technology’s successes and shortcoming and they are often taken for granted. This meta-analysis is designed to examine the use of interactive educational simulations (ES), SEGs, and SG as part of the P-20 curricula in science. Specifically, the authors intend to fill gaps left by previous studies, include major findings, and assess the current state of the field related to the use of these innovative technologies. The results of this study are in line with previous studies suggesting higher cognitive gains and increases in positive affective toward learning from subjects using SEGs, SGs, and simulations. Statements related to these increases result from an analysis of 46 empirical experimental studies. The examined studies suggests rejection of the null hypothesis that studies comparing the outcomes of simulation, SGs, and SEGs do not differ in a statistically significant way when compared to traditional instruction. More to this point effect size outcomes are suggestive of a cumulative medium effect for cognition (d=.67) and affect (d=.51) with a small effect for behavior (d=.04). Though there appears to be a difference between the effect size for cognition and affect the effect size are not statistically significantly different (F(1,36) =.007, p=.93).
Principal Author: Matthew J.. Benus, Indiana University NorthwestAbstract:
Co-Authors: L. E.. Whitman, Purdue University Calumet
The literature in science education lacks a significant selection of research tools for examining idea development in discussion forums. We did not find any published tools specifically for our interests in the science education literature. Instead, we began our research using the adapted method of combining the two models, the Interaction Analysis Model (I.A.M.) & the Coding Scheme for Evaluating Critical Thinking in Computer Conferencing. In our post-coding analysis we identified learning processes & strategies that were not captured by either scheme due to the initial reliance on a formal debate as the basis for its construction, its linear assumptions on development, & no incorporation of reflection in the process of knowledge construction. We recognized in our analysis that knowledge construction was not dependent on explicit agreeing or disagreeing, but the extent to which the idea is developed & understood in ways that support interpretation, explanatory power, the relationship of ideas, & how the idea under discussion can conceptually extend &/or connect to existing frameworks of understanding. In an effort to help the science education research & science methods-instructor community we developed the “Guidelines for Idea Development within Discussion Groups” & measurement tool for “Individual Idea Development in Discussion Groups”. Each of these tools account for the group interaction & the individual demands/actions we believe are consistent with sorts of critique & knowledge construction in classrooms that practice science as an inquiry process. As a model centered on idea development, our unit of analysis is by idea or “thematic unit”. Our initial sample for testing inter-rater reliability used forum sections covering a discussion among a group of 6 students & 1 instructor, totaling 29 units of analysis. Before negotiation of codes, we report a Holti’s coefficient of 0.5776. Still within the preliminary stages, this early inter-rater reliability is within the same level of reliability as currently circulating schemes.
Principal Author: David C. Owens, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Though the demand for science literacy continues to grow, the number of students choosing to enroll in science courses is on the decline. Those that do study science often complete their course of study with neither a sound understanding of concepts nor the motivation to pursue science-related careers. Teachers have been tasked with creating learning environments that motivate students and challenge them to engage in inquiry using higher-level thinking, environments which should contribute to increased interest and performance in science, yet this objective has been difficult to achieve. A growing number of professional educators have promoted the gamification of learning – using the elements of video games in non-game settings – to enhance motivation and mastery learning in the classroom.
In this study, one laboratory session of an introductory undergraduate biology course about vertebrate tissues was gamified to elucidate the effects of gamification on students’ perceptions of their own learning and motivation. Students were randomly divided into groups and assigned a tissue (i.e., epithelial, connective, muscular, or nervous tissues). Each group was tasked with constructing a question about that tissue using an analysis, synthesis, or evaluation verb from Bloom’s taxonomy, and presenting that question to the class using the whiteboard, overhead projector and microscope, and the slides and specimens assigned to them to best explain and answer that question. The audience then provided written and verbal feedback. Upon completion of each presentation and peer feedback session, each group ranked their peers’ presentations, and the average score for each group was used to create a group ranking for the class that determined the number of points each individual earned for that exercise. All student reported enhanced motivation as compared with the traditional learning environments previously encountered in the course, and all but a few of the higher achieving students preferred the gamified learning environment. Implications for teacher practice are discussed.
Principal Author: Ryan A. Brown, Illinois State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allison Antink-Meyer, Illinois State University
In an era in which STEM education is viewed as vital to a prosperous economic future, the role of STEM education within rural public libraries, which can also be viewed as having a role in community economic development (Hancks, 2012), is gaining importance. This study examined the status of STEM education within Midwestern rural libraries through the lens of librarians themselves as they attempt to manage limited resources yet remain a vital information resource in their community.
Principal Author: Lindsay K. Lightner, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura E. Grant, Washington State University; Angela J. Witters, Washington State University
Classroom discourse has become a prominent area of study in both science education and mathematics education, but discourse’s student outcomes have not always been highlighted by researchers. Moreover, many studies of discourse have not explicitly studied discourse with respect to diverse student populations, including multilingual students and English language learners (ELLs). This study comprises a systematic review of mathematics and science education research to map the literature regarding how K-12 classroom discourse influences student outcomes for ELLs. Initial findings indicate that few researchers have addressed this population, either in depth or in passing, in studying discourse’s outcomes. Of those researchers who have made ELLs and multilingual students the focus of their studies, many explicitly use a sociocultural stance to argue that multilingualism is a tool for students as they take part in classroom discourse and construct meaning, and that recognizing and working with ELLs’ multilingual abilities is vital to promoting equity and social justice in education.
Principal Author: Keith Sheppard, Stony Brook UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Linda Padwa, Stony Brook University; Caren Gough, Stony Brook University
This paper describes an innovative practice for science teacher preparation programs that incorporates master teachers into the program’s methods courses. The master teachers work with the methods classes over a period of two years and help to provide insights into the rigors of real world of the classroom for pre-service science teachers. The incorporation of master teachers into the science teacher preparation program courses provides a clinical richness to the courses that helps to bridge the gap between school and colleges and helps pre-service teachers transition from students into teachers. It helped to make real some of the more theoretical aspects of the educational materials introduced into the program and it demonstrated that master teachers are a valuable, though largely unused asset, in STEM teacher preparation. Their use is valuable for the pre-service teachers, for their own professional development; they act a resource that can helpful to science teacher educators and program coordinators. In the presentation, examples of the activities that the master teachers conducted are given as well as detailed feedback from the course instructors. The plans to incorporate the newly created NYS master teachers into the future operations of the science teacher programs at Stony Brook are outlined.
Principal Author: Lisa S.. Fanning, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Krista L.. Adams, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Elementary pre-service teachers enter science methods courses with a diverse set of ideas on how science should best be taught. Pre-service elementary teachers have different views of what is real, what can be known, and how knowledge can be decided. Teachers need to have clear personal understandings of their orientations of teaching science and how that impacts instruction. Recognizing teacher orientations informs how teachers understand what it means to teach and learn science. Personal reflections of elementary teachers’ understandings or general ways of viewing science teaching are seldom part of undergraduate or graduate studies (NRC, 2012). Research on pre-service elementary teacher’s orientations is needed as it informs instructors of science methods courses of one way to evaluate how teachers make the transformation from knowledge of content specific information to generation of student understanding in elementary science. This poster presentation is one researcher’s analysis of how pre-service elementary teachers’ orientations toward teaching science changed while participating in an undergraduate elementary science methods course at a large urban Midwest university. A mixed methods study that utilized a pre post survey was used to identify orientation changes. An embedded case study was used with four purposefully selected participants. The case study was used to provide thick description of teacher reflections, purposes, goals, planning, and application of teaching. Initial results indicate that pre-service elementary teachers more often enter the science methods class with a singular identified orientation that is based on their own recollection of personal experiences in school science. Subsequently, these students indicated that they then exited the course with an understanding that student learning required a variety of approaches to teaching. They identified with numerous orientations; some completely different than the ones identified at the beginning of the study.
Principal Author: Noushin Nouri, University of ArkansasAbstract:
The explicit-reflective method for teaching Nature of Science (NOS) topics is highly recommended, therefore this was my instructional methodology while teaching a semester-long undergraduate science teaching methods class. Even with advanced knowledge of the nature of science in science instruction I am a novice both teaching a methods class and in integrating NOS into that class. Therefore, I realized that this was a prime opportunity to engage in some self-reflection. Self-reporting is an effective way to increase teachers’ pedagogical knowledge (Hyden, Chiu, 2015, Berliner, 1998) and a useful research tool resulting in an evaluative case study. This case study reflects on a semester journey to make the both the path and destination clear. My reflections and field notes, and video records of classroom provide data. Pre-reflections were written before each session and focused on what I wanted to teach and how I planned to draw students’ attention to NOS. Post-reflections targeted the degree to which I was successful, and what problems happened and what was the students’ reaction to topic. I read these reflections several times to find patterns in them and uncover themes that can report my challenges. Six main challenges emerged from my self investigation and reflection: my anxiety about connecting each session’s topic to NOS, preservice teachers’ lack of content knowledge, lack of interest among preservice teachers to teach science and/or NOS at all, preservice teachers’ problems with understanding the science standards (i.e. the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and teachers holding more interest in other part of STEM compared with the science part. With using articles with NOS instructional recommendations, and by reflecting on my work, and with connecting teaching NOS to literature, technology and engineering I could find solutions for some of these challenges. The results show that although implementing NOS explicitly in classroom is a big challenge, it can be done through metacognitive strategies.
Principal Author: Adam Johnston, Weber State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Erik Stern, Weber State University
A Body in Motion is a 50-minute performance by a university dance company that has been developed by a science educator, a choreographer, and the collaboration of dancers and consultants. This performance/workshop portrays parallel practices and crosscutting concepts in dance and science and exemplifies how these can be used by teachers.
Note: The format of this session will determine the final wording of the abstract in both the program and proceedings.
Principal Author: Danielle K. Ross, Northern Arizona UniversityAbstract:
Considering this information in light of the push for development of students’ meaningful learning in science, including their ability to construct explanations, engage in argument from evidence, and evaluate and communicate information, it is important for teacher educators to prepare teachers to plan and enact meaningful questions in their classrooms. To that end, researchers outline the need for core practices, like questioning, in teacher education programs so that teachers acquire practical skills that can be readily used in the classroom. They address the necessity for pre-service teachers to participate in guiding conversations in their classrooms and note that questioning is a feature of these discussions that requires time and attention. The results of this study will show that PSTs receiving intensive instruction on ambitious planning practices can effectively develop the skills to plan high-level questions. Boaler and Brodie (2004) investigated the prevalence, or lack thereof, of questions in traditional and reformed mathematics classrooms. They organize question types into a framework in order for teachers to consider the kinds of questions they ask as they plan for and enact lessons. Tools of this type could be a great resource for novice teachers as they work provide students opportunities to engage in science practices. This study uses Boaler and Brodie's question type to analyze pre-service teachers planning for questioning.
Principal Author: Regina E.. Toolin, University of VermontAbstract:
The Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST) is a five-day professional development program whereby teachers (grade 7-12) participate in ongoing research about the Lake Champlain Basin alongside scientists, STEM graduate and undergraduate students, and teacher educators. Coupled with these research experiences are opportunities for teachers to reflect upon ways to meaningfully integrate project-based, proficiency-based, and place-based principles or “touchstones” into their teaching practice. The long-term goal is for teachers to actively engage in authentic scientific research so that they may transform their classrooms into dynamic and exciting places of interdisciplinary STEM inquiry for their own students. In June 2015, seventeen (17) middle and high school teachers (primarily teaching science and mathematics) participated in the CREST program that is a GEAR-UP funded program affiliated with a small public research university in Vermont. In this roundtable presentation the successes and challenges of touchstone development and implementation from the standpoints of project-based and place-based education will be addressed.
Principal Author: Jesse Wilcox, Grand View UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael Clough, Iowa State University; Joanne Olson, Iowa State University; Lori Ihrig, Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa
Even when beginning teachers leave a high quality teacher education program understanding, valuing, and attempting to implement research-based practices, these practices are often met with resistance and can be progressively eroded during their first years of teaching due to institutional constraints (Brickhouse & Bodner, 1992; Zeichner & Tabachnick, 1981). Institutional constraints refer to obstacles (e.g., physical structures, regulations, time, influence of stakeholders) that can significantly influence teachers’ decision-making (Brickhouse & Bodner, 1992). Knowing more about how and why science teachers persist with research-based teaching—even in the face of institutional constraints— is vital to sustainable school reform. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between teaching practices and institutional constraints of the graduates from one secondary science teacher education program.
Principal Author: Meghan Marrero, Mercy CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amanda Gunning, Mercy College; Peter Hillman, Mercy College; Arthur Eisenkraft, University of Massachusetts Boston/COSMIC; Amanda Jaksha, Mercy College
The current need for effective professional development models for science teachers is especially critical given the rapid shift to national standards occurring within public education in the United States. We present a model of professional development that we are using across five districts in our state and that is in use across 15 districts in the Northeastern United States. Our model aims to integrate NGSS, develop and facilitate vertically and horizontally aligned professional learning communities of science teachers, and foster science teacher leadership within districts. Some of our early research findings have indicated that our model is helping science teachers to learn and grow in professional learning communities grouped in vertical (K-12) and horizontal (cross grade) teams, develop context specific science teacher leadership within subject areas and improve familiarity with and use of NGSS. Our fellows have also developed and carried out research projects within their classrooms and districts with our support.
Principal Author: Yoshisuke KUMANO, Shizuoka University, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Faculty of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tomoki Saito, Shizuoka University, Graduate School of Science & Technology; Ilman Anwari, Shizuoka University, Graduate School of Science & Technology; Irma Rahma. Suwarma, Shizuoka University, Graduate School of Science & Technology; Junichi Okumura, Shizuoka University, Graduate School of Science & Technology
We have been examining K-12 Science Education Frameworks and NGSS in the US. We have been finding so many interesting characteristics which can be identified possible implementation in the Japanese contexts; however, we are finding difficulties for the implementation to our culture. So we will develop alternatives in our contexts. In order to develop better models for the Japanese contexts, we have been trying second year trials at the attached school, Shizuoka University and informal STEM education at four location in Shizuoka with funding from JST. In this presentation we explain the results from the attached school, STEM camp and STEM education in informal setting. Finally, possible revises of Japanese Course of Study describes
Principal Author: Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Heather L.. Barker, Middle Tennessee State University; Terry J.. Hopkins, Middle Tennessee State University
Improving pre-service teachers’ understanding of science content information is an important goal for teacher preparation programs. One effective method of content delivery is the use of visuals to supplement traditional science lecture and reading. Research tells us that individuals remember only about 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, but nearly 80% of what they see (Dale, 1969). Pictures, images with labels, graphs, diagrams, and representations along with text are all visual examples of infographics that are easily understood, engaging, shareable, and memorable. Unfortunately, visuals are not enough.
Connecting visuals with metaphors may be a powerful tool for learning and memory. Literary Devices (2015) describes a metaphor as “a comparison between two things, objects, people, or even feelings.” They link the new idea or concept with a familiar one. “He is the black sheep of the family” is a metaphor because he is not a sheep and is not even black; they are both unusual and typically stay away from the herd or crowd. Thus, they share similar characteristics. The terms early birds or night owls are metaphors as well. Metaphors assist us in understanding and remembering information or messages.
Research in the use of metaphors in education most often focuses on chemistry (Eppler, 2006; Abbus, Goldsby, and Gilmer, 2002), but they are valuable to support learning in other science fields (Botha, 2009; BouJaoude, 2000; Carter & Pitcher, 2010). To increase content knowledge and positively impact pre-service teachers’ efficacy, the final exam for Biology 3000: Life Science for Elementary Teachers uses visuals and metaphors to assess concept understanding.
This presentation for faculty in science teacher preparation will share the exam, development rubric, and student responses to an end-of-course survey. A brief look at these quantitative data and student quotes will be shared. Participants will come away with new ideas they can implement in their own classroom or validation for similar strategies they may already be using.
Principal Author: Jianlan Wang, Florida International UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Zahra Hazari, Florida International University; Cheryl Cass, North Carolina State University; Robynne Lock, Texas A&M University - Commerce
High school is a pivotal stage for the construction of physics identity, especially for females. High school physics experiences have been found to be formative for initially engaging the interests of women who become physics majors as well as those who become practicing physicists. However, few studies have examined the longitudinal impact that a high school physics course can have on students’ physics identity. In this case study, we comprehensively compared the instruction of two physics teachers from the viewpoints of outside observers, students, and the teachers themselves, through which we identified the features of the instruction that have the most lasting positive influences on female students’ physics identities
Principal Author: Jenna Carlson, Loyola University ChicagoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lara K.. Smetana, Loyola University Chicago
In this Syllabus Sharing presentation, we introduce Loyola University Chicago’s Teaching, Learning and Leading with Schools and Communities (TLLSC) program with a specific focus on the design of this field-based program and its developmental growth model. We will share course plans, materials and outcomes from elementary and secondary science teacher candidates’ experiences across three selected instructional semester sequences.
Principal Author: Issam H. Abi-El-Mona, Rowna UniversityAbstract:
The ongoing exploratory pilot study is based on grounded theory and seeks to understand and inform the structuring of the STEEM-S IMPACT model for engaging teachers and students in STEM practices that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Specifically, the purpose is to understand middle school science teacher participant experiences in using the STEEM-S IMPACT model to transition current curriculum and practice towards using NGSS and STEM practices. The study sought the following research question: What are middle school science teachers’ perceptions of the use and implementation of such a model in light of the necessity to adopt NGSS and the need for STEM education practices? Participants included 2 middle public school science teachers. Data collection included a post professional development survey; pre and post semi-structured 40 minute interviews and field notes of classroom observations across a period of 2 months. Survey targeted teachers understanding of NGSS and factors affecting the transition to NGSS. Interviews targeted teachers dispositions towards NGSS and STEM practices in light of their experiences and their pedagogical content knowledge in light of curricular transitions they needed to make. Observations included post conference notes which focused on teacher pedagogical use of the model in the classroom. Thematic analysis was used to analyze all text data collected, followed by data triangulation of all data sources. Teacher participants underwent member checks to verify ad verbatim transcriptions. Preliminary findings indicate that transitions towards the implementation of NGSS in the classroom involved a multitude of factors that hinder and at times facilitated the application of NGSS. The model features focusing on community based inquiry approach demonstrated usefulness to teachers in attempting to transition from existing standards to NGSS. Implications of the pilot study suggest support for adopting such a model in early phases of the transition with new requirements to policy changes towards assessment procedures.
Principal Author: Julie R. Bokor, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kent J.. Crippen, University of Florida
This multiple case study analysis investigates the perceptions of four science teachers who are repeat attendees at professional development programs coordinated by a university center. Adult learning theory provided a lens to view the motivated participants of the study and each of the five assumptions were present. Findings revealed three themes: (1) these science teachers perceive dual identities as both an educator and a scientist: as a professional educator they are focused on developing new lessons to bring relevant and engaging materials to their students while at the same time they place ultimate importance on the accuracy and validity of the content delivered; (2) relationships built during an immersive content program allow the development of trust between these science teachers and University program coordinators, which facilitates continued participation; and (3) as professionals dedicated to their craft, these science teachers pursue content-rich professional development opportunities for their personal and professional enrichment despite contextual constraints. Repeat attendance supports teacher professional and personal development.
Principal Author: Vanessa A.. Klein, Montclair State UniversityAbstract:
This study explored informal learning on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The environment can also offer educational opportunities to adults. Long distance hiking, camping, birding, and other outdoor pursuits provide an arena for learning outdoor skills, organism identification, ecology, and even an appreciation for nature. Environmental Education (EE) has mainly focused on relaying factual knowledge to, and changing patterns of behavior of, a non-adult audience (Hougen, 2009). An historical analysis of environmental adult education by Haugen (2009), found that EE messages were not reaching a diverse audience in terms of age, and as a result, the same students from the same socio-economic class were receiving the same instruction repeatedly. Analysis of qualitative data revealed that thru-hikers on the AT learn about a variety of scientific subjects through social learning. Hikers on the AT exhibit qualities of being a community of practice. Findings from this study show how learning can occur in and from nature without formal intent.
Principal Author: Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allison Antink-Meyer, Illinois State University
Research has shown the importance of an explicit-reflective approach to improving students understanding of nature of science and scientific inquiry. What has been less explored is the specific dynamics of particular approaches to such explicit-reflective teaching. The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of a very specific approach to explicit-reflective learning of nature of science and scientific inquiry. At the heart of the approach was the comparison of an in-class inquiry based activity and reading of a sociological account of scientific work. Following this exposure, participants were able to generate a number of key aspects of NOS/SI. Additional aspects, as well as misconceptions, where able to be covered through additional class discussion. As can be expected, some aspects were not determined to be relevant to the limited activity-case study pair.
Principal Author: Fayez A. Alshehri, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez, University of South Florida
The purpose of this study is to understand the mechanisms appropriate in supporting teachers’ gaining of knowledge in the RET program and the application of the science practice in their respective classrooms. The contexts of this study were two six-week Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) located in two different engineering departments of a southeastern US university. Teachers’ projects focused on the aforementioned topics. The study population consists of a total of 21 in-service science teachers in both RET programs who teach at the secondary level in a large, diverse school district in the southeastern US.
A mixed-method approach was used for this study. Data were collected after the teachers completed the summer 2014 RET programs. Teacher surveys and interviews were used to gather information about the teachers' experiences in the RET program and their intentions to incorporate what they learning into their classroom teaching. The teachers' products from the summer including lesson plans and posters. During the academic year 2014-15 teachers' lessons were observed. A pre- and post- lesson interview was done for each lesson. Teachers were interviewed one more time before the end of the academic year about the barriers and Using these multiple sources of information allowed the triangulation of the data, which increases the credibility of the results enhancing the accuracy of the study. The qualitative data were collected from the pre- and post-interviews, as well as the researcher’s observation notes, and teacher’s barriers and affordances later in academic year interview. Quantitative data were collected from the science practices surveys. These data sources were determined based on the purpose and research questions proposed within this study. Qualitative data were analyzed using the coding of qualitative data, while survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. There were three principal findings from this study such as the teachers made large gains in their research skills.
Principal Author: Stephen R. Burgin, University of ArkansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brandon M. Butler, Old Dominion University; William J. McConnell, Virginia Wesleyan College; Mark M. Diacopoulos, Old Dominion University
This presentation will focus on the results of a two semester long collaboration between science education and social studies education faculty and their doctoral students in which they co-taught a two-week inter-disciplinary unit on the teaching of controversial socioscientific issues within their respective elementary methods courses. Pre and post student lesson plans were the primary data sources analyzed with surveys and student reflections serving as supplemental data. Findings from the first semester were used to revise lesson planning tasks employed in the second semester. Overall, students demonstrated a small gain in their ability to plan for the teaching of controversial socioscientific issues. Additionally, students expressed a deeper understanding of the importance of controversial SSIs after the unit. That being said, most students expressed a commitment to teach controversial SSIs both before and after the unit. Implications for inter-disciplinary preparation of elementary teachers will be discussed.
Principal Author: Mary M. Atwater, The University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara Rascoe, Mercer University
This experiential workshop will embrace strategies designed to launch, promote, and enhance science educators’ effectiveness relative to addressing elementary science teachers’ negotiating science core ideas while using science and engineering practices and crossing cutting concepts. The issue references that fact that science and engineering practices may be used to address multicultural science education as well as meeting future challenges, yet many elementary science students are regularly not privy to science instruction that allows them to have fundamental knowledge of science and engineering practices that are user friendly. This workshop will posit how science educators may help future elementary, science teachers negotiate activities using problem solving to design products, science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and the integration of careers.
Principal Author: Georgianna L.. Saunders, Missouri State UniversityAbstract:
● In this Capacity-Building Robert Noyce Scholarship Project (DUE-1240007), Missouri State University coordinated the development of a program for science teacher preparation. The Science Experts Teaching Students (SETS) project is a multi-year collaboration between middle school and high school science teachers, university scientists and teacher education faculty. The SETS personnel worked to design a teacher preparation program that integrates the practical and theoretical knowledge of the SETS personnel into a practical plan for a reworked and more focused sequence of science education coursework designed by area master science teachers. This will result in an increased and more applicable knowledge base that will greatly benefit area secondary students by educating teachers in state-of-the-art pedagogical methods and the everyday, practical knowledge necessary to be an effective teacher. This program will encourage a greater depth and quality of science learning by offering incentives for future science teachers to have academic majors in science areas of greatest need. The new program addresses the current dearth of actual classroom (student contact) experience among teacher candidates (and newly-minted science teachers) by substantially increasing the candidates’ opportunities to work closely with practicing teachers. This will be achieved by 1) increasing the duration, variety, structure and focus of the practicum, and 2) providing a more robust and practical student teaching experience by having better preparation for student teaching, carefully vetting prospective cooperating teachers, having greater expectations for the cooperating teachers, communicating expectations for the cooperating teachers more effectively, and increasing the frequency, specificity and practicality of feedback provided to candidates about their teaching (from both the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor). These changes will result in newly-minted science teachers who are ready to face the challenges of being a new teacher from their first day of school.
Principal Author: Catherine S.. Martin-Dunlop, Morgan State UniversityAbstract:
This mixed-methods evaluative study assessed students’ perceptions (N=354) of their undergraduate biology learning environment at a Historically Black Institution in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Perceptions were compared betweeyear one and year two of the study, and actual perceptions were compared with what students would prefer in an ideal environment. Seven variables describing the learning environment were measured using the new, 50-item Active Biology Learning Environment Survey–ABLES. Also, two scales assessed students’ attitudes and one scale assessed Academic Self-Efficacy. Statistically significant differences (p<0.01) between students’ actual perceptions and what they would prefer were found for six learning environment scales. Effect sizes were high (0.67-1.14). Average item means for actual perceptions ranged from 3.07 for Involvement (sometimes occurs) to 4.15 for Task Orientation (often occurs). Scale means for what students would prefer ranged from 3.63 for Investigation to 4.60 for Task Orientation. The narrowest gap (0.24) between actual-preferred scales was for Cooperation. The widest gap (0.87) was for Clarity of Assessment Criteria. Attitude Towards Scientific Inquiry, Enjoyment of Lessons, and Academic Self-Efficacy had means below 4.00 (neutral). Differences between AY2013-14 and AY2014-15 were not statistically significant indicating that more time is likely needed before instructional changes can be seen. Multiple correlations were statistically significant (p<0.01) with the learning environment and Enjoyment of Lessons revealing the strongest relationship (R=0.52). Simple correlations indicated that Involvement is the strongest independent predictor of students’ Enjoyment and Academic Self-Efficacy (r=0.44; p<0.01). Many suggestions for creating a more active learning environment were heard during instructor and student interviews (e.g., creating rubrics for assignments; incorporating more hands-on activities; better use of clickers).
Principal Author: Brandi L. Kamp, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Blended learning, the simultaneous use of both e-Learning and face-to face learning, is becoming more prevalent in America, yet is just emerging in secondary schools. As schools embrace e-Learning, teachers are faced with a new job role - online classroom content developer (Govindasamy, 2001, p. 6). If this trend continues, a teachers’ innate ability to use technology in a way that is meaningful and important to students will be valued in blended learning schools. This construct is called a teacher’s technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK). Increasing a teacher’s TPCK levels may help them in differentiating which content can be most effectively accessed through e-Learning strategies and the content that should be taught to students in person.
Researchers will conduct an exploratory study that examines the TPCK scores of secondary science teachers who developed e-Lessons due to an emergency closure of county schools. Researchers will compare the TPCK scores to the teachers’ perceived successful implementation of their e-Lessons. Researchers will also ask teachers what helped or hindered in their creation of e-Lessons. Researchers hope to find if TPCK scores and/or particular domains of TPCK scores will correlate with perceived successful e-Lessons. Researchers hope the data will inform future research related to blended learning training by (a) targeting which domain(s) of TPCK are most likely to help a teacher improve e-Lessons; (b) if a TPCK baseline score exists that can predict a teacher’s success in a blended learning environment; and (c) if TPCK scores can be used to target teachers that would be most benefitted by a blended learning professional development program.
Principal Author: Leslie Suters, PhD, Tennessee Technological UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristen Pennycuff-Trent, Tennessee Technological University
A Framework for K-12 Science Education calls for teachers to actively engage students in scientific practices that would allow them to cultivate deep conceptual learning. It asks for opportunities for students to develop explanations and models undergirded by critical reading and technical writing of CCSS. While The Framework does not specify pedagogy, it does require that teachers encourage students to inquire, investigate, analyze, deduct, read, write, share, and apply information, all of which are pedagogical concepts developed in this workshop. This workshop will allow participants to investigate research-based strategies for critical reading and technical writing through multimedia presentation, online resources, discussions, and hands-on practice of strategies using complex text. Participants will:
*Increase their familiarity with CCSS, NGSS, and pedagogically sound practices.
*Explore and experiment with strategies for close and critical reading and technical writing in science, including the use of interactive notebooks, text-dependent questions, academic vocabulary, claims, and arguments through the use of an engineering design module on biomimicry.
*Join an online Professional Learning Community for sharing ideas and implementation of concepts presented, as well as learning best practices for becoming agents of change within their own schools. Participants will be invited to join our grant wiki and Facebook page.
Principal Author: Amanda Gunning, Mercy CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Peter C. Hillman, Mercy College; Meghan Marrero, Mercy College; Amanda Jaksha, Mercy College
This qualitative case study of 20 teachers enrolled in a two-year fellowship, examines effective professional development models and leadership development in practicing science teachers. The focus of this paper centers on professional learning communities that are orientated to align with the vertical progressions of knowledge emphasized in NGSS. NGSS represents a major shift in the way the science is taught and learned in schools. One major part of this shift is the emphasis on a progression of scientific knowledge from K-12. Our professional development model specifically targets vertical progression of knowledge in K-12 classrooms. We describe our use of vertically aligned groups of science teachers constructed around the content area the teacher fellows taught the most or, in the case of elementary teachers, which area they selected as one of interest (earth science, biology, chemistry or physics). In addition, we present an overview of our findings and suggestions for future iterations.
Principal Author: Kristen Pennycuff-Trent, PhD, Tennessee Technological UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Leslie Suters, PhD, Tennessee Technological University
What’s So Critical About Common Core? Exploring Close Reading and Technical Writing in Science, was formed to meet the need for high quality, research based literacy instruction for 5th through 12th grade science teachers. Educators used exploration, experimentation, and analysis to connect the key literacy skills of CCSS and the content demands of NGSS with research based pedagogical classroom practices. They created, implemented, and reflected on lesson plans incorporating CCSS and NGSS with pedagogical practices for critical reading and technical writing in science. Additionally, teachers became agents of change by creating a PLC within their school consisting of at least one literacy educator and one science teacher as well as contributing to ongoing project based PLCs that are focused on the integration of CCSS, NGSS, and pedagogy. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed using measures such as the Adapted Pennycuff-Reed Professional Development Survey. Highly significant effects were discovered for pretest versus post-test scores on familiarity with reading concepts (p=2.07049E-05); perceived importance of use of reading strategies (p=6.59367E-07); frequency of use of reading strategies (p=2.09973E-05); familiarity with writing strategies (p=1.55303E-06); perceived importance of use of writing strategies (p=4.31868E-05); familiarity with science concepts (p= 7.8913E-06); perceived importance of use of science strategies (p= 3.08826E-07); frequency of use of science strategies (p=2.80801E-05); familiarity with pedagogy concepts (p=5.75373E-05); and confidence of teaching (p= 5.18598E-06). In addition, there were significant effects for frequency of use of writing strategies (p=0.000163); perceived importance of use of pedagogy (p=0.005469); familiarity with professional development concepts (p= 0.001601); perceived importance of use of professional development strategies (p=0.005469); and frequency of use of professional development strategies (p=0.004397).
Principal Author: Tomoki Saito, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jin-Ichi Okumura, Shizuoka University; Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka University
If teachers implement the integrated STEM as one of the form of Science Education, is it possible to keep the enterprise of science in their education? This is a question by a retired science teacher in Japan.
By implementing a project which aims to improve the students’ talents and foster the future scientists who has higher problem solving skills (JST, 2013), the authors had constructed STEM integrated learning environment for both students and teachers. As the parts of the environment, they had iteratively continued to hold some STEM classes and camps from 2013. In addition, Free Study Support and STEM Tours had added on from 2014 to meet learning needs of the members.
The specific activities in the STEM classes had based on the development of the programs which provides opportunity to use problem solving skills and thinking skills which improve their abilities for inquiry. The authors had been working for a question that if teachers tried to introduce STEM integration to their science classrooms, what kind of difference should be appeared which related to traditional science education?
The authors collected the students’ reflections from 35 lessons of 4 STEM classes in the project. In the classes, a reflection sheet had provided for students which included tables for 3 of 6th domains (Processes, Attitude, and Concept) of science (Yager, 1993) and “the other” for free writing. They extract feature words in the domains and make understanding about what had learned from specific students’ writings.
The result suggested that STEM education may have function to focus on scientific processes. In the other words, term about processes connected the students’ learning experiences in the integrated learning environment. However, it still might not be connected to their understanding about carriers which would be called as scientist or engineers.
Principal Author: Rebecca L. Hite, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Gail. Jones, North Carolina State University; Gina M. Childers, North Carolina New Schools; Katherine Chesnutt, North Carolina State University; Elysa N. Corin, North Carolina State University; Mariana Pereyra, North Carolina State University
Educational technology is rapidly advancing with the use of 3-D, haptic-enabled virtual reality systems to create a unique digital learning experience, both realistic and interactive, where K-12 students may actively engage in and explore science concepts within an immersive virtual world. These systems have positive externalities for teachers in supplanting classroom activities that require costly laboratory equipment (e.g. PCR) or consumables (e.g. batteries) and pose hazards to students (e.g. chemicals) or ethical concerns (e.g. vivisection). Successful implementation of these learning tools hinges upon how teachers view their potential as a viable pedagogical tool. Therefore, more studies are necessary to explore teachers’ perceptions of these novel computer systems. The study was conducted with five pre-service and five in-service teachers in an urban area of North Carolina using a 3-D, haptic-enabled virtual reality system (zSpace®). Each of the ten teachers had four hour sessions with the zSpace® system which involved biology (e.g. heart anatomy and physiology) and physical science (e.g. circuits) concepts. Quantitative data were collected from content-based pre and post test scores and document analyses. Qualitative data were collected and transcribed from field notes sourced from teacher utterances during zSpace® sessions and a final interview. Both teacher groups had significant learning gains on each assessment in the two content domains. However, preferences for using this technology in lieu of more traditional methods varied between groups. Previous studies, using the TAM framework, have demonstrated pre-service teachers held more progressive attitudes towards computer technology as compared to expert teachers. However when presented with a novel technology type with no prior experience, pre-service teachers showed a strong preference for hands-on activities, focusing on their personal preferences. Whereas in-service teachers reported greater preference and potential in using the technology to address student interest and cognitive needs.
Principal Author: Gil Naizer, Texas A&M University-CommerceAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amanda Glaze, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Teacher Residencies shift the focus of the responsibility away from the preparation program to the combined responsibility of programs, practicing teachers, schools, and districts. The T-RES program links the higher education arena of teacher preparation with mentor training and professional development for novice teachers. Residencies, similar to medical residencies, utilize a cognitive apprenticeship approach (Collins, Brown & Holum, 1991) to provide prospective teachers the opportunity to learn alongside master teachers. With such an apprenticeship program, preservice teachers have time to observe and understand the complex task of teaching as their mentor breaks tasks into manageable steps the preservice teachers are capable of understanding.
T-RES is a post-baccalaureate certification program that places teacher residents in a full year of supervised apprenticeship in which the residents work alongside mentor teachers as they learn to teach. During their residency experience they received a living wage, which enabled them to focus on learning to teach rather than earning a living.
Resident and mentor surveys, developed by Urban Teacher Residencies United (http://www.utrunited.org/) and based on the Danielson framework (Danielson, 2007) were conducted at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Data demonstrates that both residents and mentors had positive perceptions of their preparedness for their role in the pairing as well as positive perceptions across the board in regards to their ability to perform tasks related to mentorship and effective instructional practice.
It is our position that this residency model will have a positive impact on both the pre-service teachers and their in-service mentors, thereby improving their practice in teaching science. By sharing our model in a manner that is transparent and reproducible, other teacher preparation programs have the opportunity to engage in similar cognitive apprenticeship models of science teacher training to graduate more effective and connected science teachers.
Principal Author: Peter C. Hillman, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jessica F. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University; Lisa Neesemann, Teachers College, Columbia University
When we teach science teachers, the National Science Education Standards (NGSS) guide our plans. Given that most states have adopted the Common Core State Standards and that most states have or will soon adopt the NGSS standards specific and targeted work needs to be done to ensure teachers are equipped to implement these new guidelines. The familiar silos of content need to be broken down, while new connected communities of content need to be built up. We have created a unique scenario in our middle school methods courses in which we deliberately break down the barriers between physical and life sciences in order to create a cross cutting curriculum that will prepare pre-service teachers to engage in content, create assessments, and foster a context of learning where students are able to demonstrate performance expectations. By creating a space where pre-service teachers can practice their implementation of these cross cutting ideas and student tasks, we will be giving these teachers an opportunity to not only assess both common core math and literacy but also science with a goal of determining how the new standards should impact instruction. This presentation will provide examples, feedback and suggestions for our peers.
Principal Author: Chris D.. White, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff Marshall, Clemson University
This study examines the cultural aspect of “School STEM Culture”, a portion of the culture within a school relating to the beliefs, values, practices, resources and challenges in STEM fields as seen by the students, parents, teachers, administrators and counselors. Improving the STEM Culture in the K-12 schools in our country might lead us to producing more and stronger STEM workers in the future. The aim of this study is to create a valid and reliable instrument which will measure this cultural aspect by surveying the stakeholder groups within the school community. The study is framed by research done on school culture as well as research done on beliefs and values within science and mathematics education. After an expert review of items and a pilot study, the reliability of the instrument was determined using Chronbach’s Alpha and an Exploratory Factor Analysis. Based on the various analyses, items were reduced leaving the strongest items and thus the final instrument. Further research has been done to empirically support the construct of School STEM Culture, with this research being proposed as another session entitled “Empirically Supporting School STEM Culture as a Cultural Aspect Within a School Community.”
Principal Author: Bridget K. Mulvey, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer L.. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L.. Bell, Oregon State University
This case study examined outcomes associated with Nature of Science (NOS) instruction along a context continuum on the development of secondary preservice science teachers’ conceptions of and plans to teach NOS. Participants comprised six teacher cohorts (n=70) enrolled in a two-year Master of Teaching program. Participants were explicitly taught current NOS conceptions using activities that incorporated varied degrees of contextualization and were informed by conceptual change principles during the first program year. Participants’ pre- and post-instruction understandings were assessed using VNOS-C questionnaire written responses and follow-up interviews. Participants’ pre- and post-instruction views were classified by degree of alignment (non, partially, or fully aligned) with current NOS conceptions. Interview transcripts were analyzed using analytic induction to verify/refine VNOS responses and to identify patterns in participants’ plans and rationales for NOS instruction, if any. Finally, Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were run to assess possible statistical significance of pre- to post-instruction changes. From pre- to post-instruction, participants’ responses shifted markedly toward more aligned NOS conceptions, with substantial and statistically significant gains for each assessed tenet (all p values <0.001). All participants planned future NOS instruction and most expressed a sophisticated rationale for this choice, including that NOS supported the teaching of key concepts such as evolution. The results indicate that teaching and scaffolding NOS lessons along a context continuum can be effective in eliciting desired changes in preservice teachers’ NOS conceptions and instructional intentions within the confines of the science methods course. Future research will examine post-methods course and post-program NOS instruction.
Principal Author: Ayanna Pantallion, Santa Monica High SchoolAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alan Colburn, Calif. State Univ. Long Beach
In this interview-based study we compared student and faculty perceptions of student preparation for college chemistry. The lead author interviewed two veteran instructors teaching introductory chemistry classes at a large, diverse comprehensive university in an urban setting, and 11 introductory chemistry students in four focus groups. Factors related to course performance and preparation were examined for both groups, individually. Factors were refined into categories representing group views.
University instructors’ perceptions focused mostly on lack of student preparation. We grouped their comments as: (1) general skills instructors believed necessary for success in any college course (like the ability to read textbooks, follow directions, and study for exams); (2) students lacking deep conceptual understanding and abilities to connect ideas; and (3) deficiencies in students understanding and abilities related to chemical nomenclature, stoichiometry, and quantitative reasoning.
Student responses fell into three broad categories: (1) high school preparation lacking rigor compared to university expectations and demands. Students felt they did not have instructor support to meet expectations; (2) the laboratory as a place they felt particularly unprepared; (3) positive comments about high school teachers' instructional techniques, and a belief university courses would be better if instructors adopted similar practices.
Students in all focus groups accepted their failures and lack of preparedness as personal issues under their control, citing poorly developed college skills, lack of effort, and the need to seek assistance from instructors.
Neither group believed high school adequately prepared students. Rather than content, results imply emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving (esp. in the lab), connecting topics, and extracting meaning from text. Results support the Common Core State Standards and NGSS aims. We also note improved communication between instructors, K-16, should increase student successes as they transition between academic environmen
Principal Author: Dionne B.. Jackson, Hendrix CollegeAbstract:
The demand for new STEM teachers continues to exist, requiring the need for research that considers the most effective ways of recruiting these teachers. Although the College’s science and mathematics degree programs have been a perennial strength, historically, the recruitment of science and mathematics majors to become STEM teachers has been challenging. Over a three year period, this research study has examined how to effectively enhance and market an undergraduate teacher licensure program to facilitate the recruitment of some of the numerous outstanding science and mathematics majors at the College to become highly-qualified STEM teachers, specifically STEM teachers in high-need school districts. Two major programmatic areas of the research were a scholar and intern program. The scholar program provided partial to tuition free scholarship opportunities to students in exchange for their commitment to teach in high-need school districts. The internship provided a stipend for freshman and sophomore students to explore STEM teaching through a six week summer internship that allowed them to engage in the planning, teaching, and assessment of STEM content for a summer science camp. Activities used to market the program and recruit students included interest meetings, field experiences in high-need settings, campus fairs, visiting science and mathematics department meetings, class visits, a mission trip and mass marketing efforts, such as mailings and flyers. The STEM teacher rate of recruitment for the three years of the study was 33%, as compared to 13% three years prior to the study and 5% 10 years prior. Additionally, 3 of 9 interns (33%) have indicated an interest in teacher licensure. The findings of this study add to the literature regarding marketing and programmatic elements that fostered the growth of an undergraduate STEM teacher licensure program.
Principal Author: Adam Devitt, New York UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kara Naidoo, Iona College
Creating safe learning environments for all learners is a goal for all teacher educators. The role of the instructor will look differently depending on instructional models and practices. Our study focuses on a science methods course that embraces a transformative models based on critical reflection of teaching experiences during an after school science program. We discovered that by improving our course, we overlooked the increased personal, emotional, and psychological risks associated with changes in instructional practices. As course instructors we need to critically reflect on our roles as we place pre-service teachers in new positions and interactions. In particular, what is our role when we learn that coteachers are exhibiting unhealthy interpersonal relationships? Instructors may proactively design and establish structures for safe learning environments. Instructors may also intervene in ways that helps [re]appropriate social and cultural capital among pre-service teachers. Intervening may also require the instructor to participate as a co-teacher. We recommend that digital video ethnography is used as a method and methodology for examining interpersonal dynamics of the classroom and support decision making. Digital video ethnography proves to be a productive method and methodology for researching the social world of teacher education.
Principal Author: Frackson Mumba, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura K. Ochs, University of Virginia; Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia
Studies on teachers’ decisions on technology integration in their teaching have mainly focused on teachers’ technology decisions for regular science classrooms (Mueller et al, 2008). As such, there is a dearth of research on science teachers’ technology decisions for inclusive science classrooms. Yet, inclusive science classes have become the norm in schools, fulfilling the instructional needs of students with mild disabilities. Therefore, we explored high school chemistry teachers’ technology decisions for inclusive chemistry classes. We further sought to establish the factors that influence chemistry teachers’ technology decisions for inclusive classrooms. The guiding research questions were: What types of technologies do teachers use in inclusive chemistry classrooms? How do teachers decide what technologies to use in inclusive chemistry classrooms? What factors influence teachers’ technology decisions for inclusive chemistry classrooms? A sample of 26 chemistry teachers across the United States participated in this study. Data were collected using a questionnaire. Results show that most teachers (81%) had no training in inclusive chemistry teaching, lacked knowledge of technology integration in inclusive chemistry classes (69.23%), and most teachers (53.85%) had moderate confidence in integrating technology in inclusive chemistry classes. Most of the technologies they used in inclusive classrooms were instructional technologies that were only appropriate for regular students. Some factors that influenced their technology decisions are: user friendliness, increase accuracy and precision of readings in the labs, applicability, cost, availability, prep time, convenience, school support, and ease of use. Although chemistry teachers’ technology decisions were within the framework that integrates practical classroom knowledge for regular classes, such decisions are unlikely to promote effective science teaching and learning in inclusive classes. Most teachers exhibited lack of knowledge about appropriate technology integration in inclusive science classrooms.
Principal Author: Chris D.. White, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff Marshall, Clemson University
This study examines School STEM Culture, defined as a cultural aspect within a school connected to the beliefs, values, practices, resources and challenges in STEM fields as seen by the students, parents, teachers, administrators and counselors. One potential solution to increase the STEM workforce within our country is to improve the STEM Culture within the K-12 school systems. As such, this study aims support the definition of the construct by connecting the results of the STEM-CAT, an instrument designed to measure School STEM Culture, to the percentage of seniors intending to pursue STEM fields. The study is framed by research done on school culture and climate as well as research done on beliefs and values within science and mathematics education. This paper details use of the STEM-CAT within 8 high schools to support the construct of School STEM Culture. The STEM-CAT was given to 8 different high schools including samples of teachers, parents, students and school leadership and results were correlated to the percentage of seniors who self-reported intention to pursue STEM fields after graduation in a short survey.
Principal Author: Elif Adibelli, University of Nevada Las VegasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Hasan Deniz, University of Nevada Las Vegas
It is well known that the explicit-reflective nature of science (NOS) instruction is effective in improving teachers’ and students’ NOS views. However, which features of the explicit-reflective instruction are perceived to be effective by students or teachers is a topic that is not studied in depth. The purpose of this study is to explore which features of the explicit-reflective NOS instruction are perceived to be effective by elementary teachers after participating one year long professional development about nature of science.
Principal Author: Patricia Bills, Northern Kentucky UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Madh Kulkarni, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics; Reeda Hart, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics
Leaders from industry, government and education call for improved STEM education at all levels. Students and their teachers face a daunting challenge implementing the NGSS in their classrooms. The Next Generation STEM Classroom project (ngSC) is our attempt to help teachers with this task.
The ngSC is an innovative, embedded, two-part professional development program for elementary teachers. It is currently being implemented across 19 school districts in Northern Kentucky. Master teachers from the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics lead four PD sessions in each participating district (n=19) during each school year with teachers from primary and intermediate grades.
Each session comprises two segments. During the first segment—the “Fishbowl”—participants observe while the MT models best practices in teaching a STEM lesson to students in their regular classroom. This segment is a unique feature of this PD model in that it offers teachers the opportunity to experience PD in their own school context, with their own students, in real time.
After the class is over, the participants and MTs convene for the second segment, the “RECAP”. RECAP stands for Reflection and Exploration of Content, Alignment, and Pedagogy. Here, teachers reflect on the best practices they observed in the Fishbowl and explore science content and alignment to NGSS and assessment programs.
This paper reports on survey data (812 responses) collected during the 2014 school year. The surveys, a combination of Likert scale items and open-ended writing prompts, gauge participants’ reactions to the PD and its impact on their teaching, their students, and their schools. In short, teachers responded overwhelmingly that they feel better prepared to teach science using inquiry-based strategies especially in light of the NGSS. We outline several specific components of the PD we found to be most impactful to teachers' practices. This session will be of interest to those interested in professional development models for elementary teachers.
Principal Author: Margaret R. Blanchard, NC State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristie S. Gutierrez, NC State University; Lauren A. Harper, NC State University; Jason L. Painter; N Scott. Ragan, NC State University
This pilot study focuses on students in after school STEM Career Clubs in 4 rural, high poverty middle schools, and was designed to give students’ out of school experiences to generate interest in STEM subjects and preparation for related careers. This NSF ITEST study investigates students who have just completed the first 6 Club meetings during 1 semester. The demographics of the all of the students (n = 215) in the four Clubs were collected, and a subset of students (n = 20) from the Clubs were interviewed and participated in a survey about STEM interests and career intentions. Interview questions were guided by the Expectancy-Value Theory of Achievement Motivation, which also was used for a priori coding categories for this mixed methods study investigating: Who are the students attending the STEM Career Clubs?; What are their affective responses to the Club meetings?; What are their educational goals and career aspirations?; and, What do survey results indicate about students’ orientation toward STEM subjects and careers? Findings indicate that students were mostly African American, followed by White, Hispanic and Native American. The gender distribution of the clubs was approximately equal, as was participation by grade level. Students who attended Club meetings described a dynamic learning environment that was mostly enjoyable, and at which they felt ‘at home.’ A small percentage of students reported negative feelings, such as feeling bored or anxious. More than one-half of the students’ professional goals indicated interest in a medical career, followed by engineer/robotics, scientist/science, and fewer than one in five students indicated interest in careers that required little or no education. Students who were in the Clubs mostly positively associated with STEM careers and interest in STEM classes, content, and activities. These preliminary results suggest that although the STEM Club activities are positive for the students, there are gaps in their pathways toward STEM majors and careers, and a need to involve parents in these conversations.
Principal Author: Laura K. Ochs, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia; Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia
Studies on the nature of inquiry practice have mainly focused on teachers’ conceptions of inquiry, and the implementation of inquiry instruction in science classrooms (Anderson, 2002; Abd-El-Khalick et al., 2004; Kang, et al, 2008; Mumba et al., (2013). Little is known about the nature of inquiry practices in science practitioner journals that are accessible to teachers. Only one study has examined the nature of inquiry practices presented in science practitioner journal (Assay & Orgill, 2010). Yet, science practitioner journals are main sources of science inquiry activities for teachers. Therefore, this study examined the nature of inquiry practices presented in the articles that were published in The American Biology Teacher from 1998-2014. This study was guided by the following research question: What is the nature of inquiry practices presented in the articles published in The American Biology Teacher from 1998-2014? We chose to analyze the articles in The American Biology Teacher because its articles are directed towards high school biology teachers, science teacher educators, and college biology instructors. As such, we believed that the articles in this journal would give a view of the nature of inquiry practices the authors are presenting to other biology teachers. 340 articles published between 1998-2014 were analyzed using the essential features of inquiry and variations framework (Assay & Orgill, 2010). Results show that the authors of the articles in American Biology Teacher conceived inquiry as putting more priority on Learners giving priority to evidence in responding to questions (98.5%), Learners connecting explanations to scientific knowledge (98%), Learners formulating explanations from evidence (88.5%), Learners communicating and justifying explanations (87.1%), and Learners analyzing evidence (85.7%), Very few authors of the articles believed that learners should be engaged in scientifically oriented questions (22.8%). Most activities were teacher-centered. As such, the nature of inquiry practice was partial inquiry and teacher-centered.
Principal Author: Melissa K.. Demetrikopoulos, Institute for Biomedical PhilosophyAbstract:
Co-Authors: John L.. Pecore, University of West Florida; Trudi Gaines, University of West Florida; Jennifer Mesa, University of West Florida; Erin E.. Peters-Buron, George Mason University; Lisa Martin-Hansen, California State University Long Beach
This paper set can help those teaching teachers and preservice teachers to understand the interplay of creativity and giftedness in the teaching of science. While it is well established that successful scientists are intellectually gifted, the interaction of creativity with giftedness in the scientific arena is less well described. This is an important area since it has been suggested that creativity separates good scientists from truly great scientists who can open new avenues of investigation. Furthermore, focusing on aspects of creativity provides a mechanism for differentiated instruction especially for students across the intellectual spectrum including students identified as talented and gifted. Three papers will be presented.
A. Historical Contribution of Creativity to Development of Gifted Science Education in Formal and Informal Learning Environments: The integration of informal learning opportunities with formal learning opportunities provides a mechanism to facilitate creativity in science education, and provides an opportunity for differentiation of instruction to meet the needs of all students.
B. Twentieth Century Scientists Who Exemplify the Interplay of Creativity and Giftedness: The authors examined the lives and creative achievements of three 20th century Nobel Prize-winning scientists towards gaining an understanding of factors that may have influenced their interest in science and unlocked their creative potential. They were selected to represent diversity of scientific disciplines and include a Hispanic-American and a woman.
C. Implications of Gifted Student Selection Techniques for Scientific Creativity: This paper builds an awareness of the lack of appropriate measures to identify divergent thinking in science. The audience may be encouraged to pursue the creation and validation of instruments to measure careful observation, abstraction, modeling, and transforming on a large scale. It is important for us to consider the implications of an educational system that selects gifted students without consideration of scientific creativity.
Principal Author: Lara K.. Smetana, Loyola University ChicagoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jenna Carlson, Loyola University Chicago; Daniel Birmingham, Colorado State University; Heidi Rouleau, The Field Museum
Despite the strong interest in informal science spaces and experiences, there is limited research about efforts to integrate informal science experiences into teacher preparation (Avraamidou, 2014; Kisiel, 2012). This qualitative study explores how a preparation program that intentionally integrates experiences in science museums has influenced teacher candidates’ [TCs’] thinking about museums as partners in education, and about science, science learning and science teaching. Qualitative analysis of data collected from 36 teacher candidates during two semester course sequences revealed that a deepened understanding of how and why teachers might connect students’ learning experiences in informal and formal environments and an increased awareness of varied institution resources to leverage in future teaching practice. Additionally, TCs’ experiences influenced their thinking about science, and science learning and teaching, including where learning happens, what learning is, and teachers’ and other educators’ roles. Implications are shared for science teacher educators interested in incorporating informal science experiences in their methods courses and for researchers exploring the potential of such experiences.
Principal Author: Marco A.. Bravo, Santa Clara UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jorge L.. Solis, University of Texas at San Antonio; Eduardo Mosqueda, University of California, Santa Cruz
This presentation reports on results from a longitudinal study aimed at reforming teacher education programs addressing culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in California.. To facilitate this process, considerations regarding the natural convergence between science and diversity education requires more attention. This study may offer science methods instructors approaches to enact the diversity pedagogy in ways that are aligned to the scientific enterprise. For example, presenting ways of talking (Instructional Conversations), reading and writing (Language and Literacy Development) as skills practiced by scientists and that support science learning, can provide an authentic rather than contrived reason to address instructionally in the science context. The notion of coherence between what preservice teachers experience in their teacher preparation program and their clinical experience, also shows potential for assisting preservice teachers in enacting practices that support the science learning of CLD students. More conversations between methods instructors and master teachers can create a more lucid experience for preservice teachers. These conversations could help avoid confusions that arise from hearing different language used to explain the same practice. Integrating diversity pedagogy as defined by the CFSEP and science education with guidance from science methods instructors and support from master teachers shows promise in assisting preservice teachers to enhance their science teaching by considering the cultural and linguistic resources that are present among the students they work with in schools. These efforts can ensure the next generation of educators are making science more accessible to all students and hence begin to address the persistent science achievement gap.
Principal Author: Pamela Fraser-Abder, New York UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Colin Hennessy Elliott, NYU; Shruti Krishnamoorthy, NYU; Pravan Kuntmala, NYU
As the United States hires new teachers every year, a third of this population are now drawn from alternative certification programs. Since the 1980’s alternative routes to teaching have emerged as part of the effort to address this oversight in education, and now pose as a competitor to university-based preparation. But are these seemingly dichotomous approaches effective? How do residency programs such as the Clinically Rich Integrated Science Program (CRISP) at New York University offer a revolutionized model of teacher education, designed to develop skilled science teachers in urban environments?
The themed paper set will inform science teacher educators, methods instructors, science education researchers and policymakers on how this residency program has been able to positively affect the teaching experiences of both residents and host schools. The first paper will review recent literature on teacher preparation and residency programs and how it connects with today’s science teacher education, while situating CRISP within current U.S.teacher education policy. The second paper will chart the change and development of CRISP through four years from its inception as a case study. Data provided by residents through their own reflections and summer curriculum changes will be used to analyze the program’s progress, along with interviews of administrators, residents and participating lead teachers. The third paper will use a critical analysis of the Summer Institute, an entry and exit phase during CRISP, to examine the integration of Zeichner’s three agendas into the program, as experienced by teachers and students involved in the institute. The effectiveness measure will be both quantitative and qualitative.
We advocate for preparation programs that acclimate student teachers to classrooms while addressing the content, pedagogical, emotional, and social needs of student teachers, regardless of the type of program.
Principal Author: Allan Feldman, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rita Hagevik, University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Susan K. Stratton, State University of New York at Cortland; Mark Bloom, Dallas Baptist University
“Educating Science Teachers for Sustainability”, a book in the ASTE Series in Science Education, has just been published by Springer. It contains 23 chapters on the theory and practice of preparing science teachers to engage in education for sustainability (EfS). The purpose of this experiential session is for the participants to engage with the book to help prepare them to teach pre- and inservice science teachers, in formal and informal settings, how to educate their students for sustainability. Participants will utilize conceptual frameworks and methodologies to study the quality and quantity of sustainability education in their own university courses as well as with science teachers in K-12 classrooms. Results and findings from the book will be used in a small group format to convey and develop ways in which this paradigm shift can be used within science education. Included in this session will be discussion of methods within science education to broaden our work to include concepts of global citizenry, socioscientific approaches to science education and scientific argumentation practices. Handouts of all materials used in the session will be provided to the participants. After the conference the presenters will write a report of the outcomes of the session for publication in the ASTE Newsletter. Session participants will be invited to be part of the writing team.
Principal Author: Molly Nation, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Glenn Smith, University of South Florida; Ping Wang, University of South Florida; Yiping Lou, University of South Florida
Global Climate Change (GCC) is an increasingly significant problem worldwide. Science educators are faced with the challenge to inform young people about the complex issue of GCC. Climate Game Narrative Education (CHANGE) is an NSF funded curriculum development project, in which university professors, science researchers, and secondary classroom teachers collaborate to design innovative curriculum materials for the marine science classroom. The project takes a place-based approach to teaching young people about the significance of GCC particularly on low-lying coastal areas. Development of innovative curriculum, including game-based education materials, fictional narrative, and original climate driven lessons and experiments for secondary marine science classrooms have been created.
It has been found that students exhibit persistent misconceptions about the cause of GCC and what can be done to mitigate the effects of GCC. Students who experienced the treatment curriculum were completed pre- and post-surveys on their knowledge and beliefs about climate change science. Survey data were statistically analyzed. This study examines the relationship between an innovative climate-based curriculum and students’ misconceptions of climate change science as well as perceived action that can be take to reduce the production of anthropogenic induced greenhouses gases and mitigate the effects of global warming from a personal and governmental standpoint. The results of the investigation are used formatively to continue development of curriculum materials to better inform secondary students of climate change science.
Principal Author: Elizabeth A.. Crotty, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie C.. Brown (PhD), University of Minnesota; Selcen S.. Guzey, Purdue University; Aran W.. Glancy, University of Minnesota; Elizabeth A.. Ring, University of Minnesota; Tamara J.. Moore, Purdue University
While STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is still largely ill-defined (Honey et al., 2014), the notion of STEM education is receiving considerable attention. The National Research Council has advocated the advancement of STEM education in primary and secondary grades with the goal of attracting more students to study these fields and increasing interest in these content areas (NRC, 2012). The Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013) demonstrate an emphasis on STEM integration, with the inclusion of engineering standards across multiple grade bands representing engineering as one of several core disciplines. Thus, teachers are being held accountable for teaching science with a more interdisciplinary approach that is highly inclusive of engineering, yet little is known about how this approach drives students’ understandings of engineering.
The purpose of this study was to examine how the degree of engineering integration in STEM curricular units correlates to various student outcomes related to a comprehensive representation of engineering as a discipline (Moore, Tank, Glancy, & Kersten, 2015). NGSS and state standards that aim to incorporate engineering largely address engineering with a focus on the design process (Moore, et al., 2015). While the design process is a substantial component of engineering, the Framework for Quality K-12 Engineering Education (Moore et. al, 2014) provides more comprehensive criteria for what engineering education might include beyond the design process. The authors of this study contend that increased levels of engineering integration correlate to larger student achievement in engineering, based on assessment items developed from the Framework for Quality K-12 Engineering Education. Although there will likely not be one singular working definition for STEM integration, this study aims to bring light to characteristics and structure of integration within STEM curricular units that are potentially associated with higher student achievement gains in engineering.
Principal Author: Corinne Lardy, California State University, East BayAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christine Lee, California State University, East Bay; Rachelle DiStefano, California State University, East Bay; Michele Korb, California State University, East Bay; Danika LeDuc, California State University, East Bay
With the expanding adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) come many challenges for science teachers at every level. One challenge that teachers have expressed is finding and adapting NGSS-based instructional resources. Next Generation Tools for Analyzing and Refining Science Curriculum (Next Gen TARSC) is an NSF-funded project that is creating tools to aid educators unpack and apply the three dimensions of NGSS to their science teaching. Currently in Phase 1 of the project (Tool Development), this study adopts the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) iterative design cycle from Improvement Science for the development of tools that will serve as a key component of a larger toolkit to support teacher learning of NGSS as they analyze and adapt science lessons and units for NGSS-alignment. Tools include rubrics and graphic organizers that contain: detailed descriptors of the three dimensions of NGSS as described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS; a flexible structure to target different grade bands and disciplines; a continuum component explicating NGSS-based progression across and within grade bands; and a 3-dimensional learning map to identify explicit connections made between the three dimensions of NGSS. The project thus far has followed three stages of PDSA development cycles for the tools: 1) Within the immediate project leadership team including the project director, an education and a science education researcher, a chemistry faculty member, and a science preservice faculty member to create initial drafts; 2) In expanded subcommittees with additional engineering educators, a mathematics education faculty member, and science education consultants to refine rubrics related to specific subdisciplines; and 3) With small groups of teachers representing the intended audience for the TARSC toolkit to ensure that refinements and revisions to the tools are useful for the intended users. Preliminary data of teachers using the tools indicate that tools prompt rich discussion regarding NGSS and teachers find value in their use.
Principal Author: Helen Douglass, University of Colorado DenverAbstract:
Co-Authors: Geeta Verma, University of Colorado Denver; Sarah Bloms, St. Vrain Valley School District
In formal education settings, high stakes testing and accountability measures influence curriculum, professional development and the priorities of a school. In elementary schools, this is seen with a focus on literacy and numeracy and standardized test scores tied to accountability measures for teachers. Curricula can be narrowed, and students can have limited choices and experiences outside of literacy and numeracy.
In addition, teachers operating in a formal setting, such as a traditional K-5 elementary, can find themselves wanting to provide more science and STEM education, but find their schedules, curricular choices and professional development opportunities are difficult to change and control.
Informal settings can provide a set of experiences that afford participation by all learners, more choice in curriculum, professional development and opportunities for teachers to focus on STEM content. An example is an informal summer STEM program for students who have completed kindergarten through 4th grade and their teachers. This program runs for 7 weeks, Monday through Thursday, for four hours a day. The program was designed by a STEM coordinator using research on science and engineering education and professional development (Martin-Hansen, 2002; Bybee, 2013; Borko, 2014) and two years of observational data of staff and students, as well as informal survey and questionnaire data from students, staff and parents.
Principal Author: Aziz S. Alamri, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bridget K. Mulvey, Kent State University; Mila R. Librea, Kent State University; Lucy Kulbago, Kent State University
This study examined male Saudi students’ experiences with perceived benefits of participation in Science Olympiad to compare to studies situated in different countries (e.g., Barr, 2013; Forrester, 2010; Hounsell, 2000; Author, 2014; McGee-Brown, Martin, Monsaas, & Stombler, 2003; Sahin, 2013; Sahin, Gulacar, & Stuessy, 2014; Wirt, 2011). This qualitative study uses a semi-structured interview protocol adapted from Author (2015) for a Saudi context. The participants were 15 male high school students who participated in at least one Science Olympiad competition in the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. These interviews were analyzed to identify emergent themes as well as those identified in U.S. Science Olympiad studies. The three main categories are cooperation, competition, and inspiration. A conceptual model was developed to describe Saudi Science Olympiad experiences and perceived benefits of participation in the competitions. This model is based and framed by the theory of Social Interdependence (Johnson & Johnson, 1989). Major implications of the Saudi Science Olympiad shed light on the importance of these activities on students’ career choice, inquiry instruction, innovation and talent development. Saudi students’ focus was on cooperation more than competition, contrary to their American counterparts (Author, 2015). The details of the similarities and differences in Science Olympiad experiences across countries will be highlighted.
Principal Author: Jorge L. Solis, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Edward Lyon, Sonoma State University; Joyce Hill, University of California, Santa Cruz
This presentation will report on the use of an observation protocol to explore how a collaborative group of secondary science methods instructors across four university sites (in California, Arizona, and Texas) prepared their pre-service teachers to teach science effectively to all students with a focus on English learners (ELs). This development occurred as part of a federally funded longitudinal study to understand how a teacher education intervention impacts participating pre-service teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices of teaching science to ELs. The larger project was conceptually grounded on the integration of science, language, and literacy in science classrooms through four interrelated pedagogical practices including: 1) Scientific sense-making through scientific and engineering practices, 2) Scientific discourse through scientific and engineering practices, 3) English language and disciplinary literacy development and 4) Contextualizing science activity. We expect that those who attend this paper presentation will learn about the reform pedagogy and how implementation of the reform pedagogy by preservice science faculty. The primary focus of the presentation will discuss how the research and development approach used in this study has enabled cross-university collaborations on science teacher education reform. Preservice faculty engaged in a sustained period of critical and supportive reflective action to infuse their existing preservice science methods courses with activities, assignments, and tasks that advanced the reform pedagogy with new science teachers and cooperating teachers. This study offers insight into the potential for promoting research-based teacher education reform focused on increasing access to science for ELs at the secondary school level. Preservice science faculty can advance this research and reform agenda by collaborating with other preservice science faculty across teacher education programs and across departments.
Principal Author: Allison Antink-Meyer, Illinois State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Matt Aldeman, Illinois State University
The purpose of this investigation was to explore the ways pre-service teachers’ conceptual understandings about electric circuits and energy technologies influence their planning for instruction about renewable energy technologies. The act of designing instruction around student directed inquiry actually provided an effective means of supporting their own learning. We will discuss the support we have for this finding and its implication in science teacher PD related to emerging areas of STEM teaching.
Principal Author: Catherine M. Koehler, Southern Connecticut State UniversityAbstract:
Student teaching is the rite of passage for all future teachers. The experience can be exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and rewarding for the student teacher, but just imagine going through this experience with a physical handicap. This qualitative case study explores the student teaching experience of Adam, a 24-year old secondary science student teacher who is inflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). This study followed Adam for one year from secondary science methods course through student teaching. The lesson learned from this experience is a story that needs to be told to all parties involved in teacher education preparation.
Principal Author: Lori M. Ihrig, University of IowaAbstract:
In 1965, Delores Elaine Keller wrote, “Recognizing that, in a democracy, one must do all within one’s power to take care of the undernourished, underdeveloped, and underprivileged, it is equally as important that under such a system some attention be given to those individuals whose intellect is undernourished, underworked, and understimulated. . . . Since high ability students exist, it is the duty of instructors to provide the opportunities for these students to think” (pp. 108–110). Fifty years have passed since Keller advocated for high-ability students to have access to opportunities to be challenged, and her words still ring true. Nonetheless, more progress must be made in changing public conceptions of the needs of high-ability students and developing opportunities at a high level. This is true in all content areas and is particularly critical in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) given the necessity of leaders in all disciplines having robust understandings of the nature of STEM disciplines. Developing STEM talent means appropriate and necessary opportunities for high-ability STEM students must be created—opportunities that extend beyond STEM exposure and literacy. Years of research supports acceleration as an effective method of challenging academically talented youth and acceleration is crucial to the development of high-level STEM talent so that it can assume leadership positions. This presentation highlights four common reasons given for not accelerating gifted students in K–12 STEM coursework and provides research-based responses supporting the use of acceleration in a program for gifted STEM students.
Principal Author: Deb Morrison, TREE Educational ServicesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Adam Geller, Edthena
In science education, as in many other areas of education, there has been in increasing turn towards practices as part of inservice and preservice teachers’ learning goals instead of content alone. However, having teachers who historically enacted in particular practices take up new practices is a challenging task.
Drawing upon research supporting four core practices for science teachers and a number of general core teaching practices, the authors have used a series of teacher education pedagogies to advance pre-service and in-service teachers’ enactment of these practices. Video has shown to be an effective tool for helping teachers engage in the core practices.
In this workshop the authors will share experience implementing the Learning Cycle for Teaching Practice, developed at University of Washington, and specifically, how two video pedagogies, screening video and video professional learning communities (PLCs), have been used with success to enhance teachers’ core practices in the classroom. In addition, the collaborative work in these two video pedagogies will be analyzed as to how they provide evidence of teachers’ enactments of practice for reflection. We will show examples of this work using our video sharing platform, Edthena.
Since the goal of the workshop is to engage participants in the teacher education pedagogies of screening video and video PLCs as two possible methods of supporting the uptake of novel core teaching practices, participants will experience small episodes as learners within both pedagogies followed by a discussion decomposing these pedagogies. These experiences will serve as models for how the video pedagogies can be replicated within attendees’ own teaching context. Specific implementation strategies will be discussed. Common challenges of managing teachers’ discussion of video will also be explored.
Principal Author: Michael P.. Clough, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University
Policymakers, business leaders, and the general public maintain that effective teaching is uncommon (Dreifus, 2013; Smith, Nelson, Trygstad, & Banilower, 2013; U.S. Department of Education, 2008), a view that is supported by numerous studies. That said, common policy recommendations for improving teaching are often based on unfounded assumptions such as: 1) command of subject matter is sufficient for effective teaching; 2) effective pedagogical practices develop naturally through teaching experience; 3) teaching is simply a matter of personal style; and 4) teaching is essentially the passing of information from teacher to students.
Tillotson (2012) noted that for the teacher education profession to effectively influence policy regarding the preparation of science teachers, it must “establish a credible research base that identifies the efficacy of teacher education programs”. The Salish Project (1997) and IMPPACT Project (Tillotson & Young, 2013) are perhaps the most extensive efforts to investigate the impact of science teacher education programs on their graduates’ teaching practices.
This paper presents: a) the structure and objectives of a research-based secondary science teacher education program; b) the syllabus, activities, and assignments for each of the science education courses in the program, c) student perceptions of the program, and, most importantly, d) several studies that have investigated program graduates’ teaching practices two to five years after having completed the program. Graduates value the science education portion of the program, have extensively presented and published on effective science teaching, and exhibit classroom teaching practices that are far more likely to be congruent with research-based practices and science education reform efforts. These findings are discussed in light of conclusions from the IMPPACT and SALISH projects.
Principal Author: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of WyomingAbstract:
This poster focuses on professional development (PD) results, but also on the explanation of the systemic nature of the PDs studied. Partnerships, including building of relationships, are explored. In this mixed methods study of two K-12 teacher PDs (n=31), conducted in the western United States, the author utilizes a mixed methods study to investigate quality PD practices and suggested strategies. Findings indicate that K-12 teachers were highly engaged in the PDs (~90% of the time), willing to use astronomy in STEM classrooms (pretest 16% to posttest 84%), and vested in creating partnerships (pretest 26% to posttest 90%). The author uncovered themes of reflection, collaboration, STEM integration, and inquiry as well as a need for time to build partnerships in teacher interactions and answers. Over the 19 total days of PD sessions, the K-12 teachers reported partnership formation and creation of useful classroom materials. Faculty/PD team communications and continuous K-12 teacher support were also critical factors for systemic PD success. Implications include focusing on the PD system that can create opportunities for teacher growth beyond content knowledge gains.
Principal Author: Deborah L. Hanuscin, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kelsey Gillstrom, University of Missouri; Kathryn "Annie" Arnone, University of Missouri
The “conceptual storyline” of a lesson, or what Roth et al. (2011) term ‘science content storyline,’ refers to the flow and sequencing of learning activities such that concepts align and progress in ways that are instructionally meaningful to student learning of the concepts. Because the conceptual storyline is often implicit within the lesson, in our professional development program we have engaged elementary teachers in analyzing and developing graphic representations of a lesson’s storyline to make that element explicit. In this exploratory study, we present cases that are representative of two primary challenges our participants faced in designing high quality lessons science lessons with a coherent conceptual storyline. We use these cases to illustrate the impact of our professional development program on teachers’ ability to develop a coherent conceptual storyline.
Principal Author: Daniel Wolff, American Museum of Natural History / Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rosamond Kinzler, American Museum of Natural History; Felicia Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study reports findings about faculty views on the purpose and value found in curriculum mapping work as part of a new teacher preparation program located at a prestigious museum in the northeast United States that has been given dispensation by the state to operate a residency-based Master of Arts in Teaching program. Curriculum mapping was used to assist the program in addressing some perennial challenges in teacher education, namely, the ability to develop a clear and shared vision around good teaching; to coherently express this vision in both academic and residency work; and to connect theory with practice.
Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, four themes emerged: reflection, expectations, collaboration and collegiality, and common understanding. These emerging themes support the growing literature base that highlights the benefits of curriculum mapping, benefits that extend beyond program alignment.
Principal Author: Katie L. Brkich, Georgia Southern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tom Koballa, Georgia Southern University; Christopher Andrew Brkich, BASE-2 Group, LLC; Jessica Render, Georgia Southern University
This study is part of a multiyear investigation examining how attending a statewide SoTL (scholarship of teaching and learning) conference focused on university-level STEM (science, teaching, engineering, and mathematics) education impacted faculty attendees’ pedagogical practices. Building upon presented Year 1 conclusions, this study expands upon those findings while addressing additionally attendees’ complaints on conference offerings.
Principal Author: Mike Borowczak, Erebus Labs LLCAbstract:
Co-Authors: Andrea C. Burrows, The University of Wyoming
Communication & collaboration are critical soft-skills often overlooked by the STEM community. Since these skills are formed early - but measured in practice this work used a popular collaboration tool to examine and predict communication success and failures of STEM senior capstone teams to drive K20 feedback. The research utilized a free cloud based collaboration tool to observe the communication habits of three senior capstone teams (n= 13 participants) and was able to predict communication success and failures through straight-forward analysis of several key parameters including: discussion frequency, number of responses and the distribution of work over time.
Principal Author: Elizabeth Ring, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Emily Dare, University of Minnesota; Elizabeth Crotty, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
National reform documents (National Research Council, 2013) are calling for an upsurge in the development of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula to simultaneously increase the number of K-12 students involved in STEM-related coursework and increase the competitiveness of the United States in the workforce of STEM-related fields. With this emphasis on the development of STEM curricula, there is also a need to improve the understanding of educational professionals as to what it means to develop and implement integrated STEM curricula as well as how teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM influence these practices. This study explores how teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM develop over the course of a 3-week long summer professional development whose focus was on bringing integrated STEM education to science classrooms. Visual representations collected using a STEM Reflection Protocol were used to explore the teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM curricula on three separate occasions throughout the professional development. Preliminary data analysis of these representations indicate that teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM curricula were influenced by the professional development, particularly through the interaction of the teachers with their classroom coaches and one another, as well as through the use of guided reflection. These results provide insight as to: 1) what current inservice teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM models are, and 2) what experiences during this professional development influenced their models.
Principal Author: Kelly Sparks, University of Southern IndianaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allison Grabert, Southwest Indiana STEM
GO (Girls Only) STEM! Camp focuses on helping girls overcome barriers and stereotypes faced while preparing for and pursuing, STEM-related careers through a five-day summer camp experience. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the camp on high school girls’ attitudes, self-efficacy and aspirations toward STEM Careers. Findings from this study show that these girls’ exhibited a strong sense of self-efficacy within STEM activities and expressed confidence in their abilities to successfully complete all future science courses. They felt that STEM was an integral and necessary component of society and more science courses should be required in schools. Although the attitudes toward science was overwhelmingly positive, many of the camp participants still did not see themselves aiming toward careers within STEM. The stereotypical image of STEM-related fields as male-dominated still exists. Conversations with several female scientists and engineers as well as camp activities which were organized in a non-traditional learning setting gave the participants a different view of STEM. Many of them remarked that they had no idea there was such a creative aspect to working in a STEM field, especially in engineering. Their perception was that science is not taught in the schools like it is implemented in the real world and if done so, more girls would express interest in pursuing STEM careers.
Principal Author: Michael Giamellaro, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Debbie Siegel, Oregon State University
A STEM Coach was embedded in a rural school district to support a transition to K-12 inclusive, integrated STEM project-based learning as part of a research-practice partnership (RPP). The Coach role was created within the RPP in order to help address numerous barriers to implementing this approach to STEM with the intent that the STEM Coach would also be responsive to innovations and barriers that emerged from the RPP.
The STEM Coach role evolved over the course of the launch year and was monitored through teacher and coach journals, interviews, school observations and a social network analysis tool. Perceptions of the coach’s role and the utility of various interventions were coded within the data to identify themes that can inform directions for the RPP as well as for others interested in supporting STEM pedagogies or in utilizing a STEM Coach to support those pedagogies. Findings include the (1) importance of responsiveness to need, (2) an almost universal agreement on the utility of the Coach as community liaison to create and broker relationships with outside experts, (3) importance of having a unifying agent to work toward K-12 integration, and (4) the difficulties of working with teachers across a broad span.
A report of interventions that were perceived as success and failures is included, along with the contexts in which they occurred. Suggestions are made for the implementation of a STEM Coach intervention, particularly for the launch year.
Principal Author: Aressa B. Coley, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gabe Posadas, Mississippi State University; Christina Hillesheim, Mississippi State University; Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University
The use of high-stakes tests in the United States has increased over the last few decades resulting in several unintended consequences; 1) increased pressure on teachers to improve scores, 2) a shift in attention from high achieving students to low achieving students, and 3) a narrowing of curriculum. Effective science instruction includes both science content and science process skills or inquiry. The threat of narrowed curriculum is that topics or skills not weighted as heavily on the test may be de-emphasized or ignored completely. Unfortunately in this situation, teachers are pushed to focus on factual knowledge rather than scientific thinking. Using a statewide longitudinal data system with over 490,619 student records, researchers analyzed the impact of high-stakes testing on the delivered biology curriculum. Results suggest that biology students are not receiving the intended biology curriculum. Researchers discuss the importance of aligning state level assessments to accurately reflect the desired components of scientific literacy.
Principal Author: Julie C.. Brown, University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesAbstract:
To realize the vision of science education advocated in the Framework, curriculum development must occur. Bridging students’ backgrounds with reform-based science practices and content has been advocated as necessary for the academic success of students of color. One way to do this is through culturally responsive science instruction, which “teaches to and through [students’] personal and cultural strengths, their intellectual capabilities, and their prior accomplishments” (Gay, 2010, p. 26). However, instructional materials to this end are in short supply and deeply contextualized. It is often left to teachers to construct such resources. It is not well understood how science teachers engage in the design process specifically for culturally responsive instruction nor how they are best supported through this action. The purpose of this study was to describe the actions taken and pedagogical design decisions made by four high school life science teachers as they constructed culturally responsive science instructional materials when participating in a professional development program.
Data sources consisted of program artifacts and group interviews. Findings indicated that a focus on relevant science topics and responsive instructional strategies was of central importance when making design decisions. Despite a shared professional development experience emphasizing collaboration, participants selected culturally relevant science topics in isolation. Though participants learned detailed information about the out-of-school experiences of focus group students, when contextualizing science in relevant topics they relied on a general level of student knowledge (i.e., race, ethnicity). In contrast, finding and using responsive strategies was a result of brainstorming and collaboration among participants. For multiple participants, the selection and implementation of responsive strategies consistently preceded the contextualization of science instruction in students’ experiences. Implications are shared for enhancing teachers’ pedagogical design capacities to this end.
Principal Author: Christina S. Hillesheim, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan M. Walker, Mississippi State University; Aressa B. Coley, Mississippi State University
In this project, researchers have employed the Mississippi statewide longitudinal data system to address, 1) the current workforce demand and 2) the observed outcomes for students exiting secondary education. Understanding the current state of affairs linking Mississippi’s secondary education system to the Mississippi workforce will allow policy makers to make informed decisions about both curricular objectives and measures of accountability. Data sampling included use of cohorts starting with 2006 Mississippi Department of Education data to provide sufficient amount of time for participants to exit both community college and IHL programs. Analysis included all relevant data from the SLDS system which were provided by multiple state agencies.
The ideal career starting point for students leaving Mississippi’s secondary education system can be found at the middle skill level. The current education system in Mississippi has failed to provide the required skills and training to exit into the workforce at this level. College readiness has also fallen short with more than half of Mississippi’s graduates requiring remedial coursework upon entry into post-secondary education. Comparatively Mississippians is very much on par with the rest of the nation. Nationally 58.24% of students entering in to two-year colleges degree programs require remedial coursework. In Mississippi that number is slightly less at 54.5%. For Mississippi students exiting secondary education into a four-year college they are tied with the national average at 31% taking remedial coursework. This snapshot will serve as a baseline to compare the success of innovative programs currently being implemented throughout the state. Using Mississippi's SLDS, policymakers and educators will be able to establish true measures of college and career readiness and gauge the effectiveness of innovative secondary education programs across the state.
Principal Author: Kelsey Gillstrom, University of Missouri-ColumbiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Eun Ju Lee, Wisdom Center-Seoul, Korea; Deborah Hanuscin, University of Missouri-Columbia
The learning cycle (Karplus & Thier, 1967; Bybee, 1997) offers an organizational framework through which teachers can generate a coherent conceptual storyline (Ramsey, 1993). Yet, the notion of a conceptual storyline or science content storyline (Roth et al., 2011) is not often explicitly taught as part of the learning cycle in teacher education. In our exploratory study, we compare two approaches to teaching the 5E Learning Cycle in a science methods course; addressing conceptual storylines separately versus simultaneously. We examine how the different approaches impact preservice teachers’ overall understanding of the learning cycle, and their ability to develop lessons with a coherent conceptual storyline using the learning cycle.
Principal Author: Lori E. Henrickson, Clark County School District, Del Webb Middle SchoolAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristoffer R. Carroll, Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program
In this experiential session we will discuss the implications of, and provide a hands-on experience with using Google Earth at the middle school level to address spatial reasoning and target understanding of crosscutting concepts of scale and patterns as they are defined in the Next Generation Science Standards. In this session we will demonstrate and share work samples and afford participants time to develop a model for using Google Earth.
Principal Author: Meredith E. Vaughn, San Diego State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Donna L. Ross, San Diego State University; Kathy S.. Williams, San Diego State University
Most agree that attending and responding to students ideas (e.g. professional noticing) leads to students’ deeper understanding of science concepts. However, this type of teaching is particularly challenging. In this session, we describe a model of professional learning designed to serve as an “approximation of practice” and we explore the successes and challenges of this model.
In this weeklong professional development, we engaged 15 secondary teachers in collaboratively eliciting and responding to student ideas as they attempted to move forward the thinking of a group of 11 middle school-aged students. In the afternoons, teachers took turns leading instruction with an explicit focus on eliciting and responding to student ideas to move students’ thinking forward. Those not teaching were tasked with making specific observations (such as focusing on the student ideas or teachers questions to elicit student ideas). Following each teaching experience, teachers engaged in careful analysis of the evidence of students’ ideas and the teaching practice (as evidenced in video clips, observation notes, and student journals) to collaboratively plan instruction. Teachers reported that the process fundamentally changed their perspective on how to support students’ learning of complex ideas. In addition, teachers reported that by having specific observational and peer coaching roles, they became more confident in their own practice and their ability to communicate their instructional decision-making process as it relates to student ideas of a complex scientific concept. In this session we will share examples and our analysis of this weeklong professional learning experience.
Principal Author: Judith A. Morrison, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jonah Firestone, Washington State University; Laura Grant, Washington State University
As schools labeled as STEM are being put forth as a solution to economic concerns, there needs to be examination of how a school’s environment, specifically the teaching and learning, affects students’ STEM literacy, future career choice, or post-secondary achievement (Peters-Burton, Lynch, Behrend, & Means, 2014). Responding to the call for more integration across mathematics, language arts, and science in recent reform agendas (CCSS-M, 2010; NGSS, 2013), more STEM curricula are being implemented in STEM and traditional schools; these also need evaluation in terms of student success and teacher understanding.
This project was designed to provide an overview of the planning and implementation involved in the first year of an innovative, inclusive STEM elementary school. This research project began during the summer of 2014 and was completed one year later after the first academic year of the new school. During the course of the year, data were collected on the planning process for the school, organization of the school, curriculum development, curriculum implementation, school events, and teachers’ views about the teaching and learning occurring at the school. Data sources for the project included: school documents, observations of curriculum planning workshops, interviews with 13 of the school’s teachers and two administrators (pre and post academic year), classroom observations throughout the year, participation in school special events, and documentation of student work.
A full description of the school’s organization and examples of integrated curricula from the school will be presented. Challenges faced by teachers in this STEM school during the first year, were that initial design and implementation of the integrated curricula took immense amounts of time and the teachers often felt overwhelmed. Other challenges were finding time to focus on students’ reading and writing and materials acquisition. The successes teachers discussed were stronger student engagement and motivation and that higher standards were possible for students at the school.
Principal Author: Brant G.. Miller, University of IdahoAbstract:
This presentation will report on a pilot project between schools in Idaho and schools in Alaska that used an innovative model of place-based water education that utilized social media technology known as The Confluence Project (TCP). An emphasis was placed on climate change and Indigenous knowledge to further establish meaning within local environments. TCP is a partnership model of environmental education developed at the University of Idaho that incorporates graduate students, university faculty, high school teachers and students, local nonprofits, community experts, and government agencies. Together, the partners delivered project-based, field science investigations for high school science teachers and students in Idaho and Alaska who then learn to critically analyze and propose basin-wide solutions to local water resource issues. The primary goals of TCP are to improve science education in urban, rural and tribal areas of Idaho and Alaska and to build community capacity to protect and restore local water resources. To connect teachers and students in Idaho and Alaska, social media tools were used along with synchronous interactions and multimedia discussion facilitation, which was framed by the Adventure Learning approach. By connecting groups in Idaho and Alaska, each respective group benefitted from learning about each other’s unique context and issues while at the same time promoting scientific understanding. Emphasis for the presentation will be placed on the Adventure Learning model of teacher professional development utilized for the project. Each summer teachers participate in a weeklong professional development that provides tools for engaging students with authentic local issues related to ecosystem services and social ecological systems. Preliminary results will be shared regarding the impact of the professional development on teacher’s ability to utilize local contexts for ecosystem service and social ecological system instruction.
Principal Author: Angelique M. Troelstrup, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Katherine A. Mangione, Middle Tennessee State University; Jwa K. Kim, Middle Tennessee State University
A previous study investigating biology majors’ misconceptions in ecology before and after instruction not only revealed that biology majors retain several alternative conceptions after instruction and laboratory experiences, but also highlighted the need for a reliable, valid, and easy to administer instrument to identify misconceptions. A two-tiered instrument to identify ecology misconceptions was developed and tested for college level students. The instrument was given to over 200 biology majors enrolled at a large, public southern university. Reliability and validity of the overall instrument was measured and item analysis determined which items should be retained and which items should be deleted from the initial instrument. Final results reveal a reliable and valid instrument that can help instructors identify and address common ecological misconceptions of their students.
Principal Author: Christopher L.. Atchison, University of CincinnatiAbstract:
Co-Authors: C.R. Carnahan, University of Cincinnati; K. Tagg, University of Cincinnati
As a way of contributing to the practice of pre-service teacher preparation in the area of inclusive instructional design, an inclusive science methods course was designed as a way to foster an innovative learning community between pre-service general and special education majors and students with moderate intellectual disabilities from the Transition and Access Program (TAP) at the University of Cincinnati. This universally-designed course benefits all learners as students share first-hand experiences and understandings of science content and instructional accommodation, work collaboratively to complete activities, and learn to design inclusive science lessons. The science content focuses on topics that align to the Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE), the required Ohio educator licensure exam. The course includes engaging and hands-on life-skills activities and utilizes inclusive pedagogy to help students to prepare for future teaching experiences. This presentation will provide an overview of the course design and outcomes of this innovative learning community.
Principal Author: Line A.. Saint-Hilaire, Queens College/CUNYAbstract:
The design and implementation of three science lessons within a science methods course served as tools to train teachers to teach elementary students using an inquiry-based method of instruction (the 5E learning cycle). Inquiry requires active participation of the learner, aligning with experiential learning, which prioritized doing and reflection in acquisition of knowledge. During these lessons, teachers learned or mastered relevant science concepts for elementary education, they reflected on the process of learning and the model of instruction used, comparing their own experience as students and as teachers. This experience equipped them with an inquiry model of instruction that will facilitate transfer of their knowledge to elementary students.
Principal Author: Sarah L. BlomsAbstract:
The STEM acronym has become the latest buzzword in education. Most definitions of STEM rely heavily on including 21st century skills, integration, problem solving processes, personalized learning, and connection to the world. How might teachers create classroom environments where students are fully immersed in collaborative, creative situations while integrating content? How might teachers create problem-solvers who are aware of themselves and the world around them? Educators everywhere are struggling to find ways to allow true STEM opportunities for students within the confines of the public education system. Genius Hour is a venue that parallels the design thinking process, allowing multiple ways to integrate content in genuine ways for 21st century learners.
“Genius Hour,” inspired by Google’s “20% Time,” has become a way to leverage student interests to stimulate self-guided learning. Students choose topics that fascinate them and are empowered to make their own learning pathways. They undergo a process, in which the teacher acts as facilitator, providing feedback, tools, and guidance throughout the project.
This hands-on experimental session will engage participants in a brief introduction of the Genius Hour structure. Educators will experience the stages of a project: inspiration and discussion, brainstorming and reflection, weekly blogging, pitching ideas, research and portfolios, TED/Ignite style final presentations, and peer review/feedback. Practitioners will be exposed to free technology tools including Edmodo, Nearpod, Blogger, Trello, and Blendspace along the way. These tools will be introduced alongside active, authentic uses.
Principal Author: Beverly R. DeVore-Wedding, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Thomas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
A history of cancelled professional development programs due to limited enrollment left us interested in improving understanding about Nebraska science teachers’ interests and needs. In this research, we wondered how teachers would describe the state-of-the-state regarding science teaching, optimal PD experiences, and connection with science educators across the state?
Methods. In Phase One, we engaged with Nebraska science teachers (N=110) who attended a Science and Mathematics Summit Conference. Idea Wall Posters encouraged participants to register their session thoughts. Volunteer discussants and note-takers guided feedback conversations and collected observational data. In Phase Two, we organized a unique Q methods study to further detail teachers’ opinions and preferences (Brown, 1980; McKeown & Thomas, 2013; Watts & Stenner, 2012). Participant teachers (N=29) sorts were analyzed using PQMethod (Schmolck, 2014) to identify common themes among the sorters, identify like-minded participants, and typologies based on similarities of opinions. These methods identified three PD-seeking typologies: Scientists, Veterans, and Entrepreneurs. The Scientists are focused on science content and look to increase their own science knowledge and to enable authentic science learning for students. The Veterans are focused on science pedagogy and seek new ideas and resources to improve science student learning and especially prefer stipend-supported PD options. The Entrepreneurs are focused on innovation and look for opportunities to enhance teaching practices and exchange teaching ideas with scientists and other science teachers.
Potential Benefits. Though this research is dependent on a small, convenient sample situated in Nebraska, we expect these results will appeal universally with others seeking to maximize PD provisions. Those who design professional development for science teachers will benefit from understanding these three typologies and these research-informed ways to organize appropriate PD models to satisfy each teacher type.
Principal Author: Karen E. L.. King, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah L.. Hanuscin, University of Missouri; Jesse W.. Kremenak, University of Missouri
Given the shifts required of K-12 under NGSS, it is inevitable that change is also required in universities that prepare teachers. Offering coherence between the way in which teachers are taught science and how they will be expected to teach it is essential to reform. Specifically, it is no longer suitable for specialized science content courses for teachers to approach electrical circuits from a topical perspective, when the NGSS emphasizes circuits as a context for learning core ideas about the cross-cutting concept of energy. In this session, we focus on a unit of instruction we designed for teachers as adult learners, Energy & Electrical Circuits, and use this to illustrate both the conceptual and pedagogical shifts necessary to align with the NGSS. Our curriculum will be made available for participants who would like to adopt it to use in their own teaching.
Principal Author: Michelle Cook, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Renee Lyons, Clemson University
This presentation will focus on an internship program developed to recruit undergraduates, specifically STEM majors, into secondary science and math teaching. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to investigate what the interns are learning from the teaching experience and how the internship influences their decision to pursue teaching careers. The participants of this study include 42 interns taking part in a semester-long internship in a high school setting that also includes callback meetings, individual and group interviews, observations by program faculty, and reflective papers. The results of this study show the internship gives students an inside look into a formal educational setting and helps them to learn about science and math teaching. The interns learn both positive and negative aspects of teaching. In addition, most of the interns in the program do not finish the program thinking they will never go into teaching; however most do not see it as an immediate pathway. We conclude with implications stemming from the results.
Principal Author: Kent Crippen, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Bokor, University of Florida; Gayle Evans, University of Florida
Blended learning is currently a popular term that is used to describe a mixture of online and face-to-face instruction that involves student-centered learning and a combination of teaching methods. The popularity of blended learning is related to the growth of online learning as an alternative to traditional brick and mortar schooling and the current popularity is attributed to its flexibility, potential for personalization, student-centered focus, and benefits relative to cost. However, the empirical basis supporting these claims is unclear and in the existing literature reviews on the topic, the context of science education is under-represented or non-existent. This study involved a systematic review of 90 papers from the peer-reviewed research journals in science education that met the inclusion criteria for blended learning in the context of K-12 science education. The research questions were related to the demographic, methodological and topological trends in these papers that were published between 2000 and 2014. The findings suggest that the existing research is primarily focused on activities at the secondary level where students only have control over the path of learning in a rotation model of blended learning. The dominant theme of investigation was whether students learned from a specific form of activity or instructional method that likely involved scaffolding and a visualization. In many cases, this included a comparison across conditions. Student beliefs and behaviors (i.e. activity) were often explored as mediating or predicting variables, as was the form of argument as an outcome. Non-cognitive factors (e.g., affective), the relationship among factors, learning effects for traditionally underrepresented students and institutional characteristics were only addressed in one or two studies and represent needed areas for future research. Implications will help science educators better design and implement empirically-grounded teacher education opportunities and further research.
Principal Author: Karl G. Jung, University of Minnesota - STEM Education CenterAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie C. Brown, University of Minnesota - STEM Education Center
The National Research Council (2012) sees the important role that language plays in learning science, noting that every science and engineering lesson should be in part a language lesson to support students in developing the language skills necessary to participate in science. The language used in science classrooms differs greatly from the language that students use in everyday conversation and can be very challenging for students to access (Gee, 2008). Unfortunately, many teacher struggle to identify the language demands associated with their lessons and fail to make those demands clear to their students (Schleppegrell, 2004). This case study investigates the ways in which an academic language planning organizer supported pre-service teachers (PSTs) in identifying language demands and planning supports for those demands. Results show that while the PSTs were able to identify a clear language function, their identification of associated demands varied. All PSTs were able to plan at least one clear support for the identified language function and demands, however the translation of those supports to the lesson plan varied across the PSTs. This study looks to build on the current research related to academic language in science and is of interest to science teacher educators, methods course instructors, and mentors who work with PSTs.
Principal Author: Kayla Messinger, Arizona State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susannah Sandrin, Arizona State University; Alyssa Trudel, Arizona State University; Katherine Short-Meyerson, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Students begin to lose interest and/or feel less confident in their abilities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes by the middle school years, and this effect is exaggerated for women and some underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. Teachers and parents are important support agents for their children’s success in STEM courses, as they help them to develop their interests, and encourage and motivate them to persist. Because virtually everyone has implicit biases about the characteristics of a “typical” STEM professional, the cues that parents send to their children about STEM fields may influence their child’s interests and self-efficacy in STEM courses and out-of-school activities.
The work presented in this paper will examine the types of praise (process versus person) and guidance behaviors (constructive versus intrusive) of parents of 4th grade children while they interact with their children on hands-on science activities. The overall study sample included 153 families from a metropolitan area of the U.S. Southwest, however, only 32 families were selected for in-depth analysis of behaviors. Families were selected from the larger population to balance the study group in terms of parent education, family income, and parent and child gender and ethnicity (Hispanic and Non-Hispanic families). Each parent-child dyad participated in a 1-1.5 hour session during which they completed a multiple choice science assessment (separately), participated in 6 hands-on science activities (together), and then the parent filled out a detailed questionnaire while a researcher interviewed the child.
The focus of the study discussed in this paper presentation is the behavioral data from the hands-on science activity session. The researchers present their mixed method approach (using thematic analysis) and their findings to determine whether parent/child interactions differed based on parent and/or child gender, and parent/child ethnicity. Descriptive statistics will be employed to compare coded behaviors by gender and ethnicity.
Principal Author: Maryam Saberi, Shiraz UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Noushin Nouri, University of Arkansas
Using analogies is introduced as a useful method for teaching science. In this research, having students’ misconceptions about electric field in mind, an analogy for teaching this concept is designed and the target concepts (electric charge, electric field, electric force, and test charge) are compared with basic concepts (flower, fragrance molecules, sent of flower, and expert person). The analogy is explained in details in an article and can be used by teachers. The effectiveness of teaching with analogy is examined by interviewing 18 students before and after teaching the concept of field. Half of the students were in the experimental group and learned the concept with analogy; and usual method is used to teach the control group. Results show the effect of teaching with analogy is somewhat effective in overcoming five misconceptions about electric field including: description of an electric field as an area, description of an electric field as a force, having field in one point shows that there is a charge in that point, a positive test charge is one coulomb, and considering the electric field to have a static nature. Moreover, students’ definition of field was more precise and close to a scientific definition.
Principal Author: Elaine V.. Howes, American Museum of Natural HIstoryAbstract:
Our MAT and induction programs prepare and support science teachers for high-need schools. This round table presentation describes our new teachers’ construction of classroom communities that value students’ ideas, cultures, and local settings. We base our discussion in the implementation of core science teaching practices in high-need classrooms.
Principal Author: Teresa Shume, North Dakota State UniversityAbstract:
This paper introduces a conceptual framework adapted from Wals and Bawden’s work in sustainable agricultural education that contextualizes worldviews in relationship to the nature of socio-environmental systems (2000). The conceptual framework is comprised of four quadrants created by the intersection of two axes. Along the vertical axis, ontological distinctions contrast reductionism (bottom) with holism (top). Along the horizontal axis, epistemological distinctions contrast pragmatism (left side) with idealism (right side). The resulting framework depicts four types of worldviews: anthropocentric (bottom, left), technocentric (bottom, right), ecocentric (top, right), and panistic (top, left).
The ontological axis distinguishes reductionism from holism. A reductionist ontology represents a belief that parts of a system can be isolated and studied individually, and that uncertainty regarding the system can be resolved by parsing the system into smaller parts for closer inspection. In contrast, a holistic ontology recognizes that systems are not simply collections of parts, but rather whole entities from which emergent properties arise when parts interact. Further, a holistic ontology acknowledges the impact of scale, the notion that structural and temporal boundaries of systems can shift when sub-systems become nested within each other or when they form internal feedback loops.
The epistemological axis distinguishes pragmatism from idealism. Within the scope of the present conceptual framework, pragmatist epistemology constitutes a conviction that the value of knowledge claims is most effectively evaluated based on success in practical application. In contrast, idealist epistemologies judge knowledge claims based on the extent to which they resonate with a particular set of exemplary values, with little regard for matters of practical application.
Ideas for operationalizing this conceptual framework into a methodological tool for research purposes and/or a pedagogical tool for classroom instruction or assessment purposes are also explored.
Principal Author: Jingjing Ma, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Beau Hartweg, Texas Christian University
This presentation reports the first stage of a larger research project in which 51 participants were interviewed three times over a four-month time period using a structured interview protocol with four open-ended questions. The project investigates the relationship between newcomer ELLs’ academic language proficiency (ALP) and their chemistry content knowledge (CCK). The present paper describes two rubrics that were used for coding ELLs’ ALP and CCK levels in this project.
Given the rapid growth of ELLs in the US, the overall academic achievement of school students are gradually more dependent on the performance of ELLs. However, currently ELLs do not meet the academic outcomes. English proficiency, including oral and written English, has tremendous impact on ELLs’ achievement in content areas since academic outcomes are commonly accessed in English.
The present study utilizes Chomsky’s (1965) theory of syntax, which distinguishes competence and performance, as a framework to develop the rubrics of assessing newcomer ELLs’ ALP and CCK levels. The development of rubrics involves two researchers’ collaborate work for over two months, during which the researchers worked independently and also met weekly to debrief and discuss results. The descriptive indicators of the ALP rubric include comprehension of questions, language complexity, and expression; the indicators of the CCK rubrics include knowledge, coherence, and the use of academic words.
During the presentation, the authors will provide details of the purpose, theoretical framework, methods and results, including coding examples from empirical data. Handouts of the rubrics will also be provided. This presentation may help classroom teachers, teacher educators, educational researchers, and policy makers provide more effective support for ELLs’ content learning.
Principal Author: Nazan U. Bautista, Miami UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Thomas Misco, Miami University; Stephen Quaye, Miami University
This longitudinal study investigates the open-mindedness of the preservice Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers during their teacher preparation. More specifically, we aimed to identifythe profiles of preservice teachers who lack open-minded thinking dispositions as they enter the early childhood education program, monitor if and how they develop open-mindedness dispositions, and investigate the factors that positively or negatively impact the development of their open-mindedness. At the conference, we will present the results from the first year data collected from the freshman level preservice teachers.
Open-mindedness is one of the well-studied topics in the area of cognitive psychology. In the context of teacher education, these studies primarily focused on either inservice teachers or preservice teachers in secondary education programs. Finally, all of these studies employed quantitative methods in their investigations. This study, on the other hand, employ qualitative methods to investigate and monitor the open-mindedness of preservice ECE teachers given the unique capacity of qualitative research to understand complex processes from the vantage point of participants. Thus, both the participant group on which we will focus and the methodology we will employ will make our study significant.
The preliminary findings revealed that two major factors must be considered to move teacher candidates’ less sophisticated worldviews to more open-minded worldviews. First is how “porous” a teacher candidates’ religious and political worldviews determines how likely it is to move each toward open-minded worldviews. The second factor is about the purposefulness of the instruction teacher candidates received in their formal preparation programs.
This study points out the need for all education courses to purposefully challenge preservice teachers’ worldviews as they enter and go through their formal teacher preparation programs. In our presentation, we will specifically focus on achieved in science content and methods courses.
Principal Author: Jennifer C. Mesa, University of West FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rose M. Pringle, University of Florida; Natalie King, University of Florida; Lynda Hayes, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
In order to realize the promise of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), well-designed professional development programs are needed to provide science teachers with meaningful opportunities to develop their own knowledge of the practices and core ideas, and to gain experience with engaging and supporting learners in scientific argumentation and constructing explanations of phenomena. This study examined the instructional practices of 18 middle school science teachers participating in a comprehensive professional development program in a southeastern state as they supported their students in using evidence to make claims about phenomena, and sense-making. Fifty-one observations were completed using a previously validated classroom observation protocol (Horizon Research, Inc., 2012). Descriptive statistics for the observer ratings of the features related to using evidence to make claims about phenomena and sense-making were calculated. In addition, the supporting descriptions and field notes were read and analyzed using a constant comparison method looking for emerging patterns (Creswell, 2014). Based on the analyses, the teachers in this study appeared to use some features of supporting students in using evidence to make claims more consistently than others. In a similar pattern, the teachers varied in their use of instructional practices to support students in sense-making. Our findings suggest that teachers may require additional time and targeted support to effectively use some critical features of these instructional practices such as supporting students in using evidence to critique claims.
Principal Author: LeeAnn Snell-Burke, Ed.D., University of Texas ArlingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Melissa Hulings, Ph.D., University of Texas Arlington; Raylynn Jansing, University of Texas Arlington; Tracy Campbell, University of Texas Arlington; Yolanda Parker, Ph.D., Tarrant County College
The research was conducted through a funded STEM overnight summer camp at an urban university campus. The week-long sessions used an inquiry-based approach to immerse students in specific biology content topics. Students were provided a pre assessment and a post assessment. Results of these assessments were not measured until both week-long sessions were complete. The t-test results indicated a statistical significant difference. This significance indicates the week-long summer camp significantly improved assessments over a majority of campers in attendance. The assessments taken by the students were a reflection of the explorations conducted throughout the week-long session. Biology contents based on NGSS standards were genetic code, protein synthesis, mitosis, meiosis, photosynthesis (including stomata function), homeostasis, diffusion and osmosis. Eleven questions on the pre quiz and the same eleven questions on the post quiz reflect the results of the various inquiry investigations.
Content explorations in the camp included constructing DNA molecules using a type of zipper to reflect the opening and/or closing of the DNA strand, noting the bubbles that form when a plant is placed under water and working with pipe cleaners and play-dough when constructing a model of meiosis. Inquiry was promoted through encouraging students to ask questions and consistently encouraging student curiosity. Sense of inquiry was further modeled through a daily journal reflecting on the explorations of the day. Online questions serving as formative assessments with Edmodo helped reflect on specific questions throughout the day.
The results showed the most effective explorations included the DNA, meiosis and photosynthesis. These activities were the most simple, to-the point and highly engaging.
Principal Author: Nathan R. Dolenc, University of Louisiana at LafayetteAbstract:
Co-Authors: Claire Mitchell, University of Virginia; Robert H. Tai, University of Virginia
Mentors play important roles in determining the working environment of out-of-school time clubs. On robotics teams, they provide guidance in hopes that their protégés progress through an engineering process. This study examined how mentors on one robotics team played an active role by maintaining a high degree of directive mentor involvement. What kind of working environment was created by these mentors? How did students respond to the high directive mentor involvement? Researchers drew from the apprenticeship learning theory to better understand how the type of mentoring on this robotics team shaped the interactions between the mentors and students and, in turn, the students’ engagement within the robotics activity. The mentor-student interactions detailed in the research showed mentors playing leadership roles and modeling tasks while students took on apprenticeship roles. During the team’s build season, mentors created a structured environment as they used a pedagogy style that resembled the apprenticeship learning stages in teaching their students new skills. The students on the team were learning by watching mentors before gradually taking up tasks, and seeing expert engineers model professional habits. During competitions, mentors took on more responsibility which created a truncated apprenticeship student learning experience where mentors did not progress beyond the modeling stage. However, students observed their mentors’ expert techniques and approaches to preparing and repairing their robot for match play. Students also saw the amount of effort and dedication that was needed in order to be successful, and expressed a desire to pursue a career in one of the STEM disciplines.
Principal Author: Hui-Ju Huang, California State University SacramentoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yu-Teh K. Lin, National Taiwan University
Students' ability to participate in scientific discourse and to appropriately use academic language has been consistently stated as a core goal of science education. Yet, the language of science presents challenges for students including English learner and native speakers of English. Teacher candidates need to be adequately prepared to develop science instructions that emphasize academic language use within scientific inquiry in order to support both science learning and further language development and literacy for all students.
The presentation will report a study on teacher candidates’ knowledge about science academic language. Teacher candidates mostly identify vocabulary and technical terms as language of science without recognizing other areas such as illustrations, equations and so on. In addition, they focus on developing language strategies aiming to teach vocabulary and front-load vocabulary in science lessons.
The presentation then demonstrates inquiry-based activities and examples that help teachers identify academic language demands in science lessons. The presentation will also discuss strategies that allow students to practice language skills, and to use academic language in the inquiry process. The goal is to enhance teacher knowledge of best practices in supporting academic language development, and hence to improve student achievement in science learning.
Principal Author: Jenny D. Ingber, Bank Street College of EducationAbstract:
This poster highlights the first of a 4-part professional development course series and how it has been developed and experienced over three years with three different content foci: neuroscience, paleontology, and ecology. This initial course focuses on science content learning within a scientist’s field of research. It is co-taught by a scientist and a science educator. Teachers are positioned as learners gaining insight into content that goes beyond what they are expected to teach in their own classes. The course is framed to provide teachers with an inquiry-oriented learning experience of their own where they can in-turn transfer the approaches used to their classroom practice. This transfer is supported in the latter 3 parts of the professional development course series. The course content changes depending on the scientist co-teacher, but, while the content is unique, parallels in structure and intention remain from year to year. Teachers are taken through the big questions that can be investigated in relation to the scientists’ field of research and the various methods used to find more information within his/her field. The teachers’ experiences and reports of their own learning are shared in the form of blogs and within surveys taken throughout the program. ASTE members who are scientists, interested in collaborations with scientists, and/or educators who engage in the development of PD programs will be particularly interested in this poster presentation.
Principal Author: April Adams, Northeastern State UniversityAbstract:
This graduate-level, science content course for teachers is a guided elective requirement for the M.Ed. in Science Education online degree. The goals of course and the degree are aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Submission of a portfolio to the NBPTS for Science Early Adolescence or Science Adolescence and Young Adulthood certification is a capstone option in this degree. This course had been previously taught in a face-to-face format. The process of converting this course to an online environment will be discussed. Some of the processes include: how to engage students in an asynchronous learning environment, how to present materials using Camtasia Studio software, how to convert student presentations to an online environment using Blackboard Collaborate, how to use Vernier Logger Pro software and Phet computer simulations to engage students in inquiry, and how to manage an online course. The presentation will also present the difficulties encountered during the online version of the course, how some of these difficulties were resolved, and how some are still in the process of resolution. Student engagement and outcomes will be discussed within this context.
Principal Author: Aaron A.. Musson, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth B.. Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Teacher educators and professional development specialists, as well as beginning science teachers themselves, benefit from understanding the assessment practices employed by early career science teachers. A cross-case comparison of two early career physical science teachers with similar pre-service preparation and who taught in distinctly different environments was conducted in order to identify how they used interactive formative assessment to support student needs, and what influenced their decisions in responding to specific student needs during the interactive formative assessment event. Both teachers identified developing conceptual understanding, supporting student engagement, and developing student self-efficacy as purposes of interactive formative assessment, and both emphasized each purpose according to their perceptions of their students’ immediate needs. One participant identified supporting depth of student discussion as a professional development goal.
Principal Author: Pamela G. Christol, Northeastern State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: April D. Adams, Northeastern State University; Karen Harris, Northeastern State University
With a renewed interest in integrating reading in secondary content areas such as science, there is a need to bridge the gap between literacy practices and the teaching and learning of science in education. Research has shown that one way to minimize the challenges that students with reading difficulties face in the science classroom is to instruct using an inquiry-based approach vs. traditional textbook instruction (Valadez, 2002).
Literacy among our student population must improve in all core subjects. Inquiry-based science instruction is a tool that enhances the learning process in science classrooms. By studying how the student learns and applying these concepts we can increase literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science instruction. Students must continue to develop reading ability in order to deal with specialized and complex texts. One way to help students cope with the more demanding information is to teach them strategies for processing the complex language of science and for monitoring comprehension (Fang & Wei, 2010).
The purpose of this study was to investigate inquiry-based science instruction with the increase in science literacy levels. With the guidance of two university professors, this action research project was conducted with Biology students who received a pretest/posttest for each of the four units taught. During each unit, inquiry-based science labs were performed with half the number of students while the other students did not receive the inquiry-based science labs. The data was analyzed for an increase in science literacy at the end of each unit by comparing the means using an analysis of covariance.
The results indicated that there was an overall effect on increasing science literacy in these participants. Data indicated that using inquiry-based instruction rather than the traditional textbook-based approach played a significant role in student achievement, thereby indicating that educators using inquiry activities can influence students’ science literacy.
Principal Author: Mandy McCormick. Smith, Capital UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lin Ding, The Ohio State University; Kathy Cabe. Trundle, North Carolina State University
The Nature of Solutions and Solubility—Diagnostic Instrument (NSS–DI) developed by Adadan and Savasci (2012) was designed to assess students’ understanding of solution chemistry concepts. The original instrument was developed in Turkish to assess solution chemistry understanding among 16 and 17 year old students. From its original development and implementation the test has been modified to an English version of the instrument, the NSS-DI Eng. To evaluate the reliability and the discriminatory power of this assessment tool, statistical tests were used focusing on both item analysis (item difficulty index, discrimination index, point-biserial coefficient) and the entire test (Cronbach’s alpha and Ferguson’s delta). While the results indicate that the English version of the NSS-DI is a reliable assessment tool, there are also some indications that the instrument could be improved. The presentation will also present the common alternative conceptions of solution chemistry concepts among first year college chemistry students. Future hopes for the NSS-DI Eng are that upon further improvement, it will provide chemistry educators and researchers insights into common solution chemistry conceptions, alternative conceptions, and student understandings, and will lead to improved chemistry education.
Principal Author: Su Gao, University of Central FloridaAbstract:
Review lesson in teaching process presumably influences the quality of teaching and student learning. Chinese students showed much higher achievement than their U.S. peers in recent PISA study and Chinese teachers are observed to be more likely to use review lesson in their science teaching process. Therefore, it is reasonable to question whether and to what extent review lessons actually influence Chinese student learning in science. This study explores the relationship between teachers’ review lesson and student performance drawing on data from 3 chemistry teachers and 222 students in a Chinese high school. It found that all three teachers developed different understandings of review lessons, which lead to conduct review lesson in different manner and different student achievement in chemistry.
Principal Author: Jaclyn K. Murray, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2013) advocate the integration of science with technology, engineering, and mathematics. The engineering and scientific practices include computational thinking and designing solutions; each of which often requires the aid of technology. It has been shown that students who advance into these fields generally have high spatial ability. Most K-12 curriculums focus on verbal and mathematical reasoning and they do not directly address spatial training. Those who have high spatial ability without direct training implicitly learnt it (Kell & Lubinski, 2013).
Recent research provides support for the division of the visuospatial sketchpad into two separate systems: spatial imagery and visual imagery (Kozhevnikov, Hegarty, & Mayer, 2002). The spatial imagery system, which is the focus of this study, is linked to physical science, engineering, and design success. The visual imagery system relates to artistic achievement. Those with a developed visual imagery system have an ability to remember intricate detail about images. These object visualizers encode and process images holistically (Blazhenkkovat & Kozhevnikov, 2009). Spatial visualizers, on the other hand, fixate on the spatial relations between objects and their locations in space whether stationary or dynamic. Spatial visualizers encode and process images part by part. Interpreting graphs and schematics, which are abstract, is difficult for object visualizers, while remembering shape, color, and texture of images is too complex for spatial visualizers (Kozhevnikov, Kosslyn, & Shephard, 2005).
Colleges and universities have recognized the importance of spatial ability and some have created a course in spatial visualization for pre-engineering students if they score below a threshold level when assessed by the Purdue Spatial Visualizations Test: Visualizations of Rotations during summer orientation.
Preliminary spatial data from spatially untrained pre-engineering students will be presented.
Principal Author: Paula A. Magee, Indiana University - IndianapolisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tina J. Cartwright, Marshall University; Deb Hemler, Fairmont State University
Like other professional preparation programs, successful science teacher education programs involve a masterful blending of theory and practice. Both theory and practice require attention to content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and, an understanding of equity, culture, race and community. Often traditional “course work” (science methods courses) focuses on the more theoretical aspects of education and the “field experiences” focus on the practice (observations, micro-teaching, etc.) of teaching. Paying attention to, and better understanding how, programs coordinate these two important but very different foci is of the utmost importance as we prepare elementary teachers who are culturally relevant (1), confident (2), and content area experts (3). We share here our arguments for better attention to field experiences and the necessary incorporation of alignment to national standards and articulated program goals, specifically as they relate to these three areas. We do this by sharing three different approaches to field work being incorporated in three different teacher education programs in the Midwest
Principal Author: Joel D. Donna, University of Wisconsin - River Falls / 3RingAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sarah R. Hick, Hamline University / 3Ring
Learning of science at the elementary level is hampered by elementary teachers’ lack of pedagogical content knowledge (Roth, 2014). Davis and Krajcik (2005) propose that educative curricular materials could build teacher’s knowledge base and connect teaching theory to practice. We investigated whether pre-service teachers could learn science content through use of high quality educative curricular materials. Specifically, we investigated whether pre-service teachers in a science content course who used educative curricular materials to teach elementary students a series of lessons in convection would have more learning gains in content than their peers who read the curricular materials but did not engage in teaching from them. The 7 pre-service teachers in the treatment group showed statistically significant learning gains at the p < .1 level on their understanding of convection on a claim-evidence-reasoning pre-post assessment compared to participants in the control group. Focus group and written reflections by treatment group participants indicated that teaching the material and using the educative curricular guide--including text as well as videos--was critically important for helping them learn the content as was the fear of making mistakes in front of the kids. Results indicate that moving the development of preservice teacher science content knowledge away from stand-alone science courses towards more integrated and authentic experiences closer to teacher practice may support the simultaneous development and retention of deep science content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge.
Principal Author: Kathryn T. Watkins, UNMAbstract:
Student teachers and school based teachers engage in collaboration with teacher educators to develop an experimental model of student teaching based on extensive and early experiences in a diverse school district. Teacher educators actively participate in a professional learning communities on a regular basis with experienced teachers and student teachers to explore the everyday teaching and learning of diverse cultural and language students in a rural community. The three groups engage in inquiry into issues related to teaching unique populations along with effective teaching practices, cultural competency of teachers and reorganization of curriculum in the context of high school instruction. The questions relate to what teacher educators can learn from the interactions between experienced teachers working in teams with student teachers that might impact the curricular revision of a secondary education program? The focus of this work will be on the reflections of the teacher educators as they engage in work with the student teachers and experienced teachers. How can the reflections of the teacher educators interact with courses taught and curriculum development of a secondary teacher education program.
Principal Author: Kathryn "Annie" Arnone, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah L. Hanuscin, University of Missouri; Nazan Bautista, University of Miami-Ohio
Given the shifts required of K-12 under NGSS, it is inevitable that change is also required in universities that prepare teachers. While there are currently recommendations for NGSS related professional development for classroom teachers, the literature is less specific when it comes to prospective teachers and their unique needs; however, one consistent call is for the provision of images of the NGSS in action. Prospective teachers’ own K12 science experiences inform their developing pedagogical knowledge, and thus understanding what NGSS-aligned instruction might look like in action will be particularly challenging for today’s prospective teachers, whose K12 science education experiences preceded the NGSS, and who often fail to understand the complexity that underlies teaching (Chval, 2004). A related challenge is that teacher educators’ own K12 teaching experiences preceded this reform as well, and as such they lack experience supporting students in achieving the performance expectations of the NGSS. Teacher educators can both identify examples of the NGSS in action (such as video cases), or themselves serve as examples. Windshitl et al. (2014) suggest teacher educators take substantive steps to engage in reforms by enacting a unit of instruction consistent with the NGSS for K12 students, perhaps in collaboration with a local teacher. The presenters of this roundtable session are all teacher educators who have been acting on the above recommendations to plan and enact instruction that aligns with the NGSS, both with teachers and with elementary students. In this session, we will highlight examples of NGSS-aligned instructional materials we have created, share insights from enactment of these materials, and articulate the resulting ‘wisdom of practice’ generated throughout this process.
Principal Author: Sandra L. Westmoreland, Texas Woman's UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jacque Garcia, Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD
Science teachers (K-12, as well as university-level) are increasingly being expected to teach students critical thinking skills and the “practices of science” without a supportive curriculum. I am currently conducting an IRB-approved study to determine whether the implementation of Team-based Learning using Case Studies in Principles of Biology, a large lecture section of freshman biology for science majors, results in changes in students’ content knowledge, thinking skills, and attitudes about working in teams. This presentation will focus on the lessons learned, tools I have designed, and helpful advice I can share as result of experiences with this implementation. A future presentation will present data and conclusions from this on-going study. This study is important because it provides a connection between designing and implementing curriculum and assessing critical thinking in science classrooms. The lessons learned and tools developed can be implemented in K-12 as well as college classrooms. In addition, I provide a model for Implementing Team-based Learning in the science classroom and advice, based on our experience, about TBL implementation such as how to locate and select the cases to be used in the TBL learning cycle’s application activities, how to organize the TBL class efficiently, how to scaffold the activities for ease of use for both students and faculty, how to evaluate individual and group work on application activities, how to conduct the culminating class discussion, how to conduct peer evaluation, and how to collect feedback from students on their view of the activities.
Principal Author: Tobias E. Irish, Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Cornelia Harris, cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
The Data Explorations in Ecology Project (DEEP) was designed to address data literacy issues in secondary science classrooms through the development and implementation of curricular modules designed to support students in gaining proficiency with data exploration practices. The focus of the research associated with this project is on understanding students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward these practices across grade levels. The participants include 310, 7th -12th grade students from 14 different schools in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. The data include pre and post tests evaluating students’ data exploration skills, DEEP final assignment essays evaluating students’ use of data in critiquing claims, end of the year surveys evaluating student interest and motivation towards data exploration activities and focus group interviews evaluating students’ data explorations skills. The findings highlight students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes toward a variety of data exploration activities, including interpreting data representations, understanding variability and evaluating claims based on the available evidence. This study contributes to the field of science teacher education by introducing a framework for characterizing critical stages of inquiry processes, thus helping us track how different skills manifest themselves at different stages and across different age groups.
Principal Author: Mary E. Hobbs, University of Texas at AustinAbstract:
Co-Authors: Robert A. Williams, Consultant
Researchers will describe the methodology, results and implications from a four-year NSF funded study that looked inside prekindergarten classrooms to assess young learners’ knowledge and skills and test strategies for teaching core life science concepts. The overall research program included extensive classroom observation by teachers and researchers of children’s ability to learn science processes and content; intensive professional development and mentoring support for teachers to learn science; and multiple qualitative, as well as, quantitative assessment strategies. The project involved 50 pre-kindergarten teachers from multiple backgrounds and in a variety of settings, with an emphasis on including classrooms where students were culturally and economically diverse. Twenty-five of these teachers were actively involved as teacher-researchers. The mixed methods research included data collection via case studies and technology-based assessment techniques, probing for answers to the question—What do four year olds know, and what can they do in science? Researchers intend that information, models and other outcomes of the project will generate additional research and provide a basis for future curriculum and professional development delivery planning, assessment, and revisions of standards (guidelines) for prekindergarten science.
Principal Author: James M.. Nyachwaya, North Dakota State UniversityAbstract:
Using interview and written data, this study explored college general chemistry students’ understanding of physical states in the context of a chemical reaction, and the extent to which they drew on the kinetic molecular theory (KMT) in their explanations, as well as their understanding of the particulate nature of matter. Students were asked to describe the meaning of physical states appearing in an equation of a reaction, draw particulate representations of matter in the various phases, describe their drawings, and provide explanations for their drawings. Results show that while most of the participants were able to provide appropriate drawings for the liquid, gas and solid phases, many struggled with the definition and representation of the aqueous phase. Of the 17 participants, only one used the kinetic molecular theory (KMT) to account for orientation of particles in their drawings. Student descriptions of spacing and motion of particles showed misconceptions the students held. Most student responses referred to temperature change as the cause of the differences in spacing in solid, liquid and gas phases, failing to refer to KMT.
Principal Author: Karen Goodnough, Memorial UniversityAbstract:
The research reported in this proposal seeks to describe and understand the professional learning activities of three teachers who completed two cycles of action over a two-year period from 2013-2015. These teachers used collaborative action research as a professional learning strategy in the context of a larger a program called Teachers in Action (TIA). CHAT or Cultural Historical Activity Theory is used as a lens to examine the activities that constituted their activity system and how the tools adopted contributed to this learning.
Outcomes present a portrait of the teachers' activity system (subject, object, norms, tools, community, and division of labour), as well as contradictions that arose in the activity system and how those contradictions were resolved.
Principal Author: Alyssa Trudel Trudel, Arizona State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susannah K. Sandrin, Arizona State University; Katherine Short-Meyerson, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Christopher Edwards, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Many different strategies are being employed nationally to encourage more youth to remain in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline. Despite these efforts, many students lose interest in STEM fields of study during the middle and high school years. Young women and some underrepresented racial and ethnic populations are especially at risk of losing interest and declining self-efficacy in their science and math abilities. Parent profession may also play a role in influencing children’s interest and self-efficacy in STEM fields.
This research study examined the influence of parental experience (in terms of education, training and job experience) in STEM fields on their children’s interests in STEM, understanding of STEM professions, and performance on a science assessment. More specifically, how does parental experience with STEM influence:
• their children’s interest in different STEM topics?
• how often the parent and child participate in out-of-school science-related activities with their children?
• whether the parent thinks their child spends enough time learning about science in school, and how important science is compared to other subjects?
• parent and child understanding about what scientists or engineers do?
• child (and parent) performance on a standardized, multiple choice science assessment?
The study population included more than 150 families from a metropolitan area in the Southwestern U.S. Girls and boys, as well as mothers and fathers participated. Approximately half of the families were Hispanic and half were Non-Hispanic. Parents and their 4th grade child participated in a 1-1.5 hour session during which they completed a science assessment (separately), participated in hands-on science activities (together), and then the parent filled out a detailed questionnaire while the child was interviewed about their interests and attitudes toward science. Findings from the assessment, parent questionnaire and the child interview will be presented. Descriptive statistics will describe our findings by gender and ethnicity.
Principal Author: Lisa A. Borgerding, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rajlakshmi Ghosh, Kent State University; Vanessa Klein, Montclair State University
Understanding evolutionary biology is fundamental for learning biology and scientific literacy. Given this importance, science educators must attend to where and how people learn about evolution. This study explores the age and contexts of college students’ first evolution learning experiences in order to better prepare science teachers and science curricula for evolution instruction. The interviewed sample consisted of 62 students, 35 from an upper-level Evolution course, 15 from an introductory majors biology course, and 12 from a non-majors biology course. In the interviews, participants were asked questions that prompted them to describe their memories of the age and contexts of their evolution learning. The interview data were transcribed, and data analysis was guided by a grounded theory approach. The authors independently open-coded a subset of the transcripts, met to discuss differences and develop a coding scheme, independently coded the original and additional transcripts, and continued this iterative comparative process until all transcripts were coded with respect to participants’ ages and contexts of earliest evolution learning experiences. Two main findings emerged from the data. First, the age of participants’ first evolution learning is early, earlier than targeted within science education literature and teacher preparation programs. Second, evolution learning is happening in many contexts. Some of these contexts (high school, college, museums) are researched within the science education literature, while others (elementary schools, homes/parents, media, and religious sites) are contexts which are seldom researched. Implications for teacher education, curriculum development, informal science education, and future research are provided.
Principal Author: Gerald P. Ardito, Pace University School of EducationAbstract:
This paper is a report on the findings of an action research study conducted on a middle school with eighth grade students who were participating in a blended, self-directed Biology course. Various types of data analysis techniques were performed in order to investigate the students' personal learning networks and how these were affected by this technology enhanced self-directed learning and a blended learning environment. Findings indicate that the students who performed better than expected in the class had the largest and most robust learning networks. The converse was also true; students who did less well than expected were shown to have small and less robust learning networks. This study develops a methodology for applying Connectivist learning theory to a blended learning environment.
Principal Author: SUMREEN ASIM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXASAbstract:
Co-Authors: KARTHIGEYAN SUBRAMANIAM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
This presentation reports on prospective teachers’ beliefs about informal science teaching before and after the implementation of an intervention. The intervention consisted of three designed learning environments and microteaching sessions framed by the National Research Council’s six strands of learning science in informal environments (Bell, Lewenstein, Shouse & Feder, 2009). This study draws upon the educational literature about teacher beliefs, with a focus on work in teacher beliefs from the field of science education and specifically, (the limited) work in prospective teachers’ beliefs about science education, and informal science education. Analysis of data revealed that participants’ beliefs about informal science instruction prior to the intervention were basically centered on the notions of fun, hands-on, outdoor science instruction, and student confidence. Post intervention, beliefs showed a change to that of learning science outdoors as engaging students in scientific knowledge, practice, processes. The belief that informal science instruction is fun and hands-on predominant before and after the intervention. Implications include (1) the need to derive prospective teachers’ beliefs for both formal and informal science instructional settings; and (2) the need for teacher educators to provide microteaching sessions wherein prospective teachers can practice to teach science in both formal and informal science instructional settings and reflect on their beliefs.
Principal Author: William F. McComas, University of ArkansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Noushin Nouri, University of Arkansas; Cathy Wissehr, University of Arkansas
This proposal considers the place of Nature of Science (NOS) within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This new document to guide science teaching in the U.S., makes three major recommendations including science content, cross cutting concepts and science and engineering practices. A forth recommendation concerts the teaching of the nature of science. We provide a brief introduction to NOS and to the NGSS and find that the NGSS provides eight NOS categories discussed in Appendix H and two accompanying tables; NOS categories I-IV are linked to the practice of science and NOS categories V-VIII are associated with the cross-cutting concepts.
Next, we explored the accuracy of the illustrations written to accompany the NOS recommendations and how frequently they appear. Several of the illustrations are well crafted but others are either inaccurate or unrelated to the category with which they are associated. We also report that many such illustrations for use at various grade levels fail to appear within the actual document associated with science content. One NOS category (Science is a Human Endeavor) does not appear at all within the document and others appear only rarely. Finally, we compare a master list of NOS recommendation with NOS in the NGSS and conclude that many important elements appear while others (such as creativity and subjectivity) are missing or hidden only within the illustrations making it difficult to inform teaching practice and classroom inclusion. In spite of these challenges with NOS in the NGSS, the general completeness of NOS and the advocacy for inclusion of this topic in school science class are encouraging.
Principal Author: Frederick W. Freking, University of Southern CaliforniaAbstract:
K-12 STEM Teacher Education is facing intense scrutiny as countries examine the preparation of their youth for college and the workforce. The educational landscape is changing with the implementation of the new Common Core Standards (CCS) and the approval of the Next Generation Science Standards(NGSS). Assessments aligned with these new standards expect more out of students, including demonstrating engineering and scientific practices. It is vital that both pre-service and in-service teacher education prepare their science teachers for these new standards. It is also critical that science teachers have curriculum that is aligned to CC and NGSS. This poster shares both the Speedometry curriculum that was developed through collaboration between Mattel, the USC Rossier School of Education, and current elementary teachers and studies the professional development to guide teachers to implement the curriculum.
The theoretical framework that guides both the curriculum design and the professional development(PD) design is socio-cultural theory. In both the curriculum and the PD, participant Funds of Knowledge were used to build an understanding of the scientific practices that teachers must integrate into their curriculum. During the PD, a facilitator guided elementary teachers to engage in the Speedometry curriculum and then led discussions around teacher questions of both the science content and pedagogical approaches.
This poster shares the Speedometry curriculum developed through a collaboration between Mattel, university science educators, and elementary teachers and a study of the professional development to implement this curriculum. Elementary teachers overwhelming reported a positive impact of the PD on their STEM teaching understanding and practice.
Principal Author: Sara Raven, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lisa Borgerding, Kent State University
Diversity in the U.S. school system has increased dramatically over the last twenty years, and the population of students from non-English speaking households has risen faster than any other segment of the student population. Despite this increase in student diversity, the diversity of teachers has remained largely the same, creating a disparity that can lead to cultural misunderstandings in the classroom, which can affect working relationships and student performance. Although all content areas have the potential for these misunderstandings, science classrooms pose particular problems, as many of the discussions revolve around who does science, aspects of science, and how science relates to other disciplines. We sought to address these issues by assessing PSTs’ multicultural awareness and acceptance using surveys and interviews over a series of two years. However, during the course of data collection, a secondary element was introduced. In studying data collected from two separate student cohorts, extreme qualitative differences began to emerge. In investigating these differences, as well as the impact of the cohort model on students’ multicultural awareness and understanding, we crafted the following research questions: What is the multicultural competency of PSTs in separate cohorts? How do cohorts differ in their understandings of multiculturalism? And what elements of the cohort affect their understanding of multiculturalism? Preliminary results suggest that the PSTs did not significantly differ with respect to their positions on egalitarian beliefs but did differ somewhat with respect to their attitudes toward gender issues. In both cases, members of both cohorts least endorsed negatively worded sexual-orientation items.
Principal Author: Joshua A. Ellis, Michigan Technological UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Emily A. Dare, Michigan Technological University; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota
Technology Tools for Teachers: Science (T3-S) is a required course for pre-service science teachers at a major Midwestern university. The primary goal of T3-S is to engage pre-service science teachers in a subject-specific, content-based technology pedagogy as described by Hughes (2005) so that they are capable of engaging in technology-integrated instruction. This study utilizes an explanatory embedded case study methodology (Yin, 2014) to observe the effect of an Adventure Learning experience on pre-service science teachers’ TPACK. Pre-service teachers enrolled in T3-S in Fall 2014 participated in an AL experience wherein they co-created lesson plans, instructional strategies, and an online learning environment for Chasing Aurora, a nascent AL project on astronomy education. Teacher responses to AL Pre- and Post-Questionnaires were openly coded (Corbin & Strauss, 2008), and the resulting codes from each questionnaire were collapsed into categories and themes via thematic analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994) in order to identify common themes and ideas among course participants. These themes were subjected to constant-comparative analysis (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) in order to validate their relevance.
In our analysis, we did not find significant differences between the three cases in either the Pre- or Post-Questionnaire. There did not appear to be any unique relationship between teacher responses to the questionnaires and the group that they participated in. Instead, we discovered important differences from pre to post across all three cases that informed our conclusions about this experience. Pre-service teachers showed gains in their ability to create technological affordances for student communication and collaboration. Teachers also showed a marked increase in their interest to ground their science instruction in a culturally relevant global context. These results indicate an increase in teachers’ ability to identify and create pedagogically-grounded TPACK strategies for their future science instruction.
Principal Author: Maria S. Rivera Maulucci, Barnard CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kassidy T. Fann, Bedford Public Schools, MA
Preparing teachers to teach for social justice in science education requires attention to how they develop as social justice-oriented teachers and the ways in which seminar and field experiences foster their identity development. This qualitative case study explores a preservice high school Physics teacher’s social justice identity development across three field/pedagogical experiences, a science methods course, a secondary methods course and urban school practicum, and student teaching in an urban school. Data include her coursework across all three field experiences, observations of mini-lessons taught in her secondary methods course, and observations of lessons taught during student teaching. Across her experiences, four central activities were important to her social justice identity development: a) interrogating what science is and why and how students should learn science; b) growing in sociocultural awareness; c) constructing and enacting a preliminary vision of teaching science for social justice; and d) refining her vision of social justice teaching during student teaching. The findings explore each of these components and the ways in which they contributed to her identity development. Implications for science teacher education are also proposed
Principal Author: Mark McDermott A. McDermott, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mason Kuhn, University of Northern Iowa; Katie Graf, University of Iowa
The Argument-based Strategies for STEM Infused Science Teaching (ASSIST) approach combines the argument-based Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) with infusion of mathematics, technology, and engineering. The approach is designed to help teachers develop engaging learning environments that are focused on developing scientific literacy within the context of an integrated STEM classroom. The ASSIST approach also includes tools and templates to help teachers plan units, classroom activities, and communication opportunities that engage students in the practices of argumentation as they develop conceptual understanding in science. Our presentation will provide an overview of the approach, including the theoretical foundation and the ways in which the ASSIST approach builds on and adds to earlier work with the SWH. In addition, practical tools that have been developed to help teachers implement the approach will be described, as well as the feedback and evaluation that is currently being collected to assess the utility of the tools. Finally, experiences of teachers utilizing the approach, students engaged in the approach, pre-service teachers learning about the approach, and professional development providers encouraging the approach will be discussed. Benefits as well as challenges will be summarized, and descriptions of the different ways the approach is being applied to accomplish STEM integration will be offered. Impacts on teachers and students will be provided as a means for facilitating discussion related to emerging areas of application and research surrounding the approach.
Principal Author: Elizabeth Allison, University of South AlabamaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jenice Goldston, University of Alabama
Grounded in a constructivist framework, this study explored multiliteracies, student voice, and scientific practices in two elementary classrooms. Data sources included teacher interviews, student focus groups, student interviews, and researcher observations. Data analysis of teacher and student perceptions revealed the theme of a “modern classroom” which is defined in two ways. First, classrooms are becoming increasingly integrated with technology, particularly mobile devices and the Internet. Second, the classrooms of this study function with a sense of increased accountability for teaching and learning mandated standards. Findings indicate that although both teachers admitted that technology is becoming increasingly important in students’ lives, they each struggled in their own way with how to incorporate technology effectively in their science classrooms. Students, however, were quite vocal in how technology increases engagement and learning. Students also expressed their awareness of the pressure of standards/testing on their teachers and its effect on the way in which their teacher chooses to teach science.
Principal Author: Stacy McCormack, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Changes in science courses for elementary education majors have been suggested for quite some time. Tobias (1997) proposed changes not only in the content of these courses, but also changes in pedagogy to best prepare future teachers in science. When elementary teachers were surveyed in 1993, “76% of them felt competent to teach reading/language arts, while only a mere 28% of them felt competent to teach science” (Cobern and Loving, 2002, p. 1020). To increase teachers’ self-reported competency in science instruction, they must become comfortable with both subject matter knowledge and effective pedagogy (i.e., instructional strategies) for teaching various topics (Tobias, 1997). The purpose of this study was to explore how redesigning a large lecture style physical science content course may impact students’ perceptions of how to teach. Action research was utilized as this approach supports practitioners seeking to improve their practice and/or find a solution to a practical problem (Creswell, 2012). It is also seen as a way to “explore questions but not necessarily to provide definitive answers” (Leonard, 2006, p. 399). Data sources included the instructor’s teaching journal and student written comments following each exam, as well as a semi-structured interview that the instructor conducted as part of course requirements at the end of the semester. Themes from both instructor and student perspectives include evidence of frustration and struggle. Students indicated a desire for more instructor direction, acknowledged the improved access to both video content outside of class and the instructor during course lecture time, but they did not recognize the in class instructional strategies as something they would repeat in their own instruction. The instructor consistently acknowledged issues with student motivation, but also saw evidence of improved conceptual understanding throughout the semester. Implications for those considering a similar redesign or those wishing to improve pedagogy in science content courses for education majors will be discussed.
Principal Author: Qingna Jin, University of AlbertaAbstract:
This study designed and examined a new form of science teaching training—collaborative inquiry—to complement the theory-based lecture, which was the main form of teacher training in China. Five science teachers at a public school in Beijing, from different disciplines, were invited to do a group inquiry personally and collaboratively. The inquiry was focusing on Water, which was a shared content of their disciplines. Before and after the inquiry, each teacher was interviewed, and all of them were suggested to write reflective writings during the whole process. The interview transcription, their reflective writings and the final report were collected for data coding and interpretation. The results revealed that the school-based collaborative inquiry could be an option to complement the theory-based lecture, for it could be designed according to the different resource each school had, as well as the specific problems. Besides helping teachers gain a more comprehensive understanding of scientific literacy—the goal of science education, and knowledge integration, it could also encourage teachers to adopt inquiry as a form of science teaching and to take knowledge integration into account in their further work.
Principal Author: Rory J. GlassAbstract:
This presentation reports on data from a larger study identifying the presence of students’ tacit understandings as they apply to environmental science content, and to discover how these understandings emerged and, were viewed and interpreted by teachers. Towards that end over ten hours of classroom video was recorded and analyzed, from both large urban and smaller urban classrooms. It was hypothesized that students’ understandings and teachers’ interpretations of them may be influenced by their personal experiences with the natural world. For that reason, demographic information and self-reports of experiences were used to determine the extent to which tacit understandings are influenced by environmental experiences, and whether tacit understandings differed significantly by gender. The results indicate that there are significant differences between students from larger and smaller urban school districts, and males and females. The data suggests that at least some of these differences are directly related to the students’ experiences. The data further suggests that teachers are well aware of the importance of these less formal understandings though they are not always able to integrate them into their instruction in a timely manner. A total of 26 instances were identified of students displaying or exhibiting largely tacit understandings, indicating the utilization of knowledge from the tacit domain. This study offer support to those who believe science education must change its focus if it is going to meet the needs of 21st Century citizenship and the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards. To meet these goals it will be necessary to find ways of embracing the understandings that students bring with them to school; including those, perhaps even especially those, that are mainly tacit.
Principal Author: Jacob Pleasants, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christopher Spinler, Iowa State University; Joanne Olson, Iowa State University
In 2013, the publication of the Next Generation Science Standards called for the infusion of engineering content into science curricula across all grade levels. This addition is likely to be felt most by elementary teachers, who often lack the necessary preparation to teach engineering content (Banilower et al., 2013). This literature review examines what is known about engineering education in elementary grades, while also identifying what is unknown and needs to be developed further. The first area that is addressed is what is known about the conceptions elementary students have about engineering. Elementary students are not blank slates about engineering; rather, they hold many deep misconceptions about what engineering is and engineers do. While this area of research is growing, more work is needed to understand the detailed nature of students’ misunderstandings about engineering and from where they originate. The second key area is what engineering content elementary students ought to learn. The NGSS mostly revolve around the engineering design process, which is an important part of engineering, but certainly not the sole aspect. Other standards documents contain much greater breadth in dealing with ideas such as the connections between science, engineering, technology, and society (ITEA, 2007). The third area discussed is what is known about the developmental appropriateness of engineering content for elementary students. One research-based conceptual trajectory is presented, but such learning arcs are very few and need to be expanded. The final section addresses what elementary teachers know and need to know about engineering. While teachers tend to hold more accurate notions about engineers than students, many misconceptions abound. In particular, teachers tend to hold overly broad notions of what engineering is and what engineers do. Effective professional development programs are discussed, as well as key implications for the effective teaching of engineering concepts.
Principal Author: Mandy Biggers, Penn State UniversityAbstract:
Teaching argumentation to preservice teachers can be challenging, and little research exists on effective strategies of how to do so. Many preservice teachers never experience scientific argumentation in their science classes in either K-12 or college. Argumentation is explicitly emphasized in the NGSS as an essential scientific practice. It helps students develop a fuller understanding of the nature of science as well as seeing science as a fluid, working process rather than a static collection of facts. Scientific argumentation is different than the everyday definition of argumentation, and preservice teachers often have misconceptions about how to argue in science classes. Several studies have shown that explicit instruction in argumentation helps increase the chance it is practiced in the classroom. Here, I use the argumentation framework of students developing a claim, backing it up with evidence, and justifying it with scientific reasoning (CER). In an effort to engage middle level preservice teachers in a novel, meaningful, relevant way I used the popular podcast ‘Serial’ as the context for teaching the CER framework. ‘Serial’ is a podcast with 12 episodes which tell a story of the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999 for which her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Sayed, was convicted. Although Sayed was found guilty, the facts of the case are not as black-and-white as one would initially think. The podcast presents evidence for both sides of the case, and in the end the listener makes up their own mind about innocence or guilt of Adnan Sayed. This context was extremely engaging for preservice teachers and presented a unique context though which to teach argumentation practices for science classrooms. The preservice teachers applied their argumentation skills to lessons they taught in their field placement classrooms using the CER framework in science, literacy, math, and social studies lessons, and even created their own podcasts patterned after Serial that would be appropriate for younger listeners. Student artifacts will be presented during the presentation.
Principal Author: Nancy P.. Morabito, St. John's UniversityAbstract:
Contemporary science education reform movements stress the need to provide students with opportunities to engage in the practices of science and engineering to equip them with the tools necessary to succeed in today’s society. Given that the K-12 teachers responsible for providing such opportunities may lack experience with these practices, professional development programs aimed at providing science teachers with opportunities to participate in authentic science and engineering research may help address this gap. This case study focuses on three science teachers who participated in such a program, which engaged them in authentic engineering research experiences over the course of six weeks during the summer. Differences between the three participants’ thinking about the way(s) in which the practices of science and engineering should be addressed in the classroom prior to and following participation in the program are described. Implications of findings for program design are discussed with respect to teacher engagement in the practices of science and engineering.
Principal Author: Benjamin K.. Campbell, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia
This study seeks to understand, from the students’ perspective, the teaching of early career science teachers. Most studies examine how early career teachers learn and teach. Few studies attempt to understand the instruction of a teacher from the students’ perspective. This study gives students a voice about their experiences with their early career teachers. It specifically tries to understand how students perceive their teacher’s actions, the process of classroom learning, and the instructional responses that are, or are not, made in the classroom. We observed multiple class sessions in two eighth-grade physical science classrooms. Immediately following class, we conducted focus-group interviews with a small sample of student participants. Phenomenology was used as the theoretical framework for this study because the lens of phenomenology allowed us to characterize the experience of learning through instruction using the input of those who experience the learning themselves, the students. Our results provide insight into how students experience the phenomenon of being in instruction, with implications for preservice teacher preparation, teacher professional development, and the structure of curriculum and instruction for science classrooms.
Principal Author: Brooke A. Whitworth, Northern Arizona UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of Virginia; Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L. Bell, Oregon State University
This study examined how science coordinators who attended PD may have impacted teachers in their districts. We sought to understand if there was a relationship between science coordinator and teacher understanding of inquiry, nature of science, and problem-based learning, and how these understandings impacted instruction. Three cohorts of science coordinators (n=29) participated in PD designed to support and encourage their understanding of inquiry, nature of science, and problem-based learning. Four cohorts of teachers who participated in elementary PD were identified as either treatment (n=175) because they had a coordinator who attend the PD a year or two years prior to the teacher or as control (n=220) because they did not have a coordinator that attended the PD. Data sources included a science coordinator perceptions survey, a teacher perceptions survey, and observations of teachers in the classroom. This study employed a mixed-methods approach. The study’s qualitative components employed systematic data analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1984) and analytic induction (Erickson, 1986). The quantitative component used ANCOVA and ANOVA to analyze the data. Analysis is ongoing, but it is hypothesized that teachers with science coordinators who also attended PD may have higher understandings and changes in practices over teachers who did not have coordinators that attended. Findings may provide a better understanding of how district science coordinators’ understanding influences teacher understanding, practices, and change may help us understand how to better support teachers in changes. It may also suggest the importance of working with science coordinators and incorporating these individuals in the design of PD in order to effect greater teacher change in practices and understandings.
Principal Author: Max L.. Longhurst, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kimberly H.. Lott, Utah State University
Essential factors that influence appropriation of instructional practice in science include opportunities for personalized paths to appropriate conceptual or practical tools, planning for intentional and acceptable adaptation allowing teachers to develop ownership attributes of pedagogical tools of instruction, and the creation of trusted cultures of learning where teachers develop long-term supports. The development of a differentiated method of professional development delivery should not be a foreign practice to our teaching community. One rural school district provided a differentiated instructional model for teachers as learners in order to capitalize on the investment of time and resources. Our work investigated a PD model focused on how three-dimensional science learning can be integrated with writing strategies to enhance learning.
Those attending this presentation will gain an understanding of how one district developed an implementation model for three-dimensional science instruction using 1) personalized paths, 2) planned for acceptable adaptation, and 3) developed long-term support. Qualitative data will be shared that informs how elementary teachers might be supported in their implementation of science practices. Determining the supports that enable teachers to implement new pedagogical practices from PD opportunities is a growing need as we seek to find new ways to teach students more effectively.
Principal Author: Lisa A.. Gross, Appalachian State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Shanan Fitts, Appalachian State University
The purpose of the present project is to develop teacher capacity related to the integration of science inquiry and language development for English language learners (ELLs). University faculty and a group of elementary practitioners who work with impoverished and culturally diverse populations have initiated a collaboration to address three challenges related to science teaching and learning at the intermediate grade levels. The goals of this program are to: 1) build teachers’ confidence in and attitude toward science teaching; 2) construct inquiry-based lessons that integrate research-verified literacy strategies for improved academic science language and knowledge; and 3) support elementary classroom teachers in assessing diverse learners’ academic language across content areas. Participating teachers engage in workshops focused on inquiry science, assessing student learning, planning and implementing differentiated lessons, and integrating language development goals into content area lessons. With the assistance of the curriculum specialist, the ESL teacher, and the researchers, lessons are co-constructed and implemented. Instructional teaching episodes are observed and assessed using Opportunity to Learn (OTL) and Academic Language Exposure (ALE) measures. Student gains in science content knowledge and academic literacy are monitored through an elicitation protocol that prompts students to use both visual models and verbal explanations. An overview of the program and preliminary findings from data collected will be presented.
Principal Author: Heather L.. Barker, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State University
Many pre-service teachers (PSTs) lack a fully developed conceptual understanding of science and hold a number of incomplete, incorrect, or unsophisticated ideas known as alternative conceptions. Alternative conceptions about foundational life science topics of photosynthesis and cellular respiration are commonplace in prospective elementary teachers. PSTs’ future effectiveness as science educators can be significantly impacted by such undeveloped and erroneous knowledge.
Argumentative discourse has been suggested as an effective instructional strategy to reduce alternative conceptions and deepen science understanding. Argumentative and collaborative discourse activities are aligned with strategies for supporting conceptual change in learners, as well as the sociocultural approach to learning, social interdependence theory, and reform-oriented science teaching. Such methods of instruction exemplify key practices emphasized in standards and reform documents as effectively supporting students’ scientific proficiency.
In order to learn more about how argumentative and collaborative discourse influences the conceptual understanding of PSTs, a qualitative case study was designed and carried out at a Southeastern public university. Multiple data sources contribute to a rich description of the case and the results. Preliminary findings provide insights into the roles of group dynamics, individual personalities, epistemic beliefs about science, and activity structuring on mediating the effectiveness of this complex instructional activity. The evolution and extinction of alternative conceptions will be traced through the intervention lessons.
This information should be of interest to teacher educators seeking to incorporate argumentative and collaborative discourse in their own instructional practice. The final results of this study may demonstrate whether argumentative discourse has the potential to support conceptual change regarding photosynthesis and cellular respiration in this population of PSTs.
Principal Author: Karen E.. Irving, Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Anil Pradhan, Ohio State University; Sultana Nahar, Ohio State University
This proposal reports on the second year of a collaborative international project between a US University and an Indian University to produce world class STEM professors for institutions in India and to promote STEM collaboration. The two year program combines both STEM research and pedagogical elements to prepare STEM PhDs for university teaching.
This proposal reports on a project at a USA University and an Indian University funded by the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OS21CKI) to produce world class STEM professors for Indian institutions of higher education and to promote collaboration between the institutions. The project intends to encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development and engage communities in both the USA and India in academic cooperation.
The intent of the project is to prepare world class STEM professors who can both teach well and engage in STEM research for academic positions in universities in India. The project consists of a two year Master in Education degree program for post-candidacy Fellows who will complete their doctoral studies in a STEM field at an Indian University. Through a joint agreement between the two institutions, the Fellows (selected after a rigorous and competitive process) enrolled in the MED program at the USA institution. The first year of USA based coursework and research apprenticeship is complete. The Fellows were partnered with both a science education advisor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and a STEM researcher working in their unique STEM field and completed course work in science teaching methods, learning theory, assessment, and multicultural education.
In June, 2015, the four pioneer Fellows returned to India to begin the second year of the project. In the next phase, the Fellows will continue to work with their USA science education advisor and complete a university teaching apprenticeship in collaboration with a professor at their university in India to teach a course in their science discipline field.
Principal Author: Michelle L. Head, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: David Rosengrant, Kennesaw State University; Charlease Kelly-Jackson, Kennesaw State University; Katarina Dass, Kennesaw State University; Gregory T. Rushton, Kennesaw State University
Recruitment of students into science education programs, specifically chemistry and physics, has been an ongoing struggle to garner enough students to fill the demand for these positions in the workforce. It has also recently been noticed that there is a growing divide among the diversity, or lack there of, among our teachers and the diversity of the student population in our schools. Together these trends require a need to understand why students are not choosing to enter into the science education career and more importantly why minorities are not deciding to do so.
This poster seeks to better understand what external factors influence someone in making the choice to pursue a career in science education. Specifically, it also seeks to further understand how cultural backgrounds influence this choice. The population of students, both high school and college undergraduates, that were participants in this study were a part of a ten-day teacher development program designed to allow these students to build their identity as a teacher. The main component of this program was a weeklong half-day science camp for middle school students. This was a necessary component to allow students the opportunity to engage in a classroom environment that was both low-stakes and fun.
Data will be presented from participant applications, a series of daily reflections, and focus group interviews. The data collection is ongoing, though trends detected thus far includes a strong influence from friends and family for not to go into teaching. This has been overcome with the support by some type of mentor or champion in the field to justify the student’s choice.
Principal Author: Rachel E. Wilson, Appalachian State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Leslie U.. Bradbury, Appalachian State University
Researchers have noted the critical role that being able to interpret and construct representations of science knowledge plays in students’ science literacy development (Prain & Waldrip, 2010). Two science teacher educators and two first-grade classroom teachers in a rural, public, Title 1 school in the southeastern United States planned and co-taught a week-long multimodal integrated science-language arts unit focusing on carnivorous plant (CPs) structure and function. In this unit, 40 first graders investigated the structures of CPs by observing living specimens, supplemented with opportunities to read and write about CPs and gather information from a web-based resource that included photos and video of CPs. The end-of-unit assessment required students to draw and write about their understanding of how one CP, a Venus flytrap, attracts and captures its prey. We analyzed first-graders’ drawings for evidence of accurate representation of core science ideas. The inclusion of science vocabulary and details of CP structures in students’ end-of-unit and post-unit drawings that were absent from their initial observational drawings show that the multi-modal representations that they were exposed to in the unit contributed to their knowledge growth. We will share student products and our findings about the pedagogical potential of using drawings in early elementary science units and how these findings have impacted our instruction in our elementary science methods courses, as well as our future research and teaching in elementary science classrooms.
Principal Author: Jennifer Kreps. Frisch, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Neporcha Cone, Kennesaw State University; Brendan E.. Callahan, Kennesaw State University
The presentation will discuss a “personal science story” podcasting assignment that was developed to help pre-service teacher candidates reflect on their use of everyday and academic language in the context of science, as well as how to effectively communicate with their students. Qualitative data, in the form of podcasting assignments, was collected from 16 elementary education candidates and nine MAT Biology candidates. Podcasts were examined for the extent to which candidates were able to use the “personal science” stories to demonstrate their understandings of the “real-life” contexts of their students as well as the relationship between academic and everyday language.
Principal Author: M. Kate. York, The University of Texas at DallasAbstract:
Quality preservice teacher preparation is critical to producing highly qualified, instructionally sound future science teachers. As part of this preparation, research supports including 21st century competency instruction in teacher preparation. This phenomenological study looked at the particular experiences with 21st century competencies in preservice secondary science teachers, including 1) their conceptual understanding and proficiency in these skills, and 2) the likelihood they would use these competencies in their future classrooms. Both a questionnaire and semi-structured interview was used with three (3) preservice science teachers who had completed their educator certification through a nationally-recognized educator certification program replication cite at a large state university in the southwest. These competencies are assessed in a research methods course, and are taught through explicit instruction during a project-based learning course; both of these courses occur late in the coursework sequence for the program.
Initial findings suggest these preservice teachers have surface-level conceptual understanding of 21st century competencies, and these conceptions are largely tied to instruction and assessment designed through project-based learning. Participants were only able to articulate limited transferability to a classroom with more traditional means of instruction. However, they value the inclusion and assessment of these skills in their future classroom, but would prefer earlier exposure and more opportunities to practice during their coursework and fieldwork. Results have implications for program-wide coursework design regarding the inclusion of and explicit teaching of 21st century competencies in preservice teacher preparation and potential transferability to other educator preparation programs.
Principal Author: Shelly R. Rodriguez, The University of TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Steven S.. Fletcher, St. Edwards Univeristy
During a typical field experience, cooperating science teachers, also called mentor teachers, interact with preservice teachers to observe, provide feedback, and prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century classroom. Despite the potential impact cooperating teachers have on the professional growth of preservice teachers, little attention has been paid to this group. This qualitative case study uses teacher noticing as a framework to explore the attention of cooperating science teachers and uncover the ways in which they consider their own practice while working with preservice teachers. This work focuses on the experiences of four secondary science teachers working with a nationally recognized STEM teacher preparation program in a diverse urban setting. Specifically, the study asks: What, if any, connections do secondary science cooperating teachers draw between what they notice and their own teaching practice? The findings of this study show that cooperating science teachers use noticing as an opportunity to engage in professional experimentation. The data also documents the emergence of “pivotal moments”, times when teachers observe their classroom, notice specific elements, reflect, and recognize the need to develop specific areas of their practice. Those attending the session will gain insight into the notion that, in the same way that students present teachers with “teachable moments” to be captured, that the act of observation provides cooperating teachers with “pivotal moments” during the noticing process. Purposeful attention to the development of cooperating science teachers has far reaching potential and should be of interest to teachers, administrators, and researchers interested in enriching science education.
Principal Author: Kimberly Murie, John Brown UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: William McComas, University of Arkansas
The purpose of this study was to identify components of schools with successful science fair programs. Ideally schools interested in starting or improving their science fair programs could find a way to emulate some of the identified components. Successful was defined by having received recognition on some level at the International Science and Engineering Fair at least nine out of the last ten years. Twelve schools were identified as meeting this definition and five agreed to participate in the study. The schools represented diverse geographic areas as well as types of schools. Included in the study was a private school, two public schools and two public magnet schools. Data were collected through surveys, interviews, observations and document analysis. The climate of the school and the climate of the community were key features identified as helping to foster successful science fair programs. Unique features were
identified as being present at most of the schools. These included embedding science research in the curriculum, requiring participation in science research for all students, flexible scheduling
and offering elective science research classes. As the nation is increasingly focused on preparing students to enter STEM fields it seems that including science research in the science curriculum
and emulating some of these unique components of successful science fair schools would be worth pursuing.
Principal Author: Rhea L. Miles, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
The purpose of the Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) is to develop and implement an inquiry –based program to teach the pharmacology of drug addiction and to expose middle and high school students to biomedical research. The participating teachers indicated that the professional development sessions increased their awareness of STEM careers (particularly biomedical careers), increased their knowledge of the hazards of using addictive substances, increased their knowledge about the science of drug addiction, increased their skills related to the use of planarians in basic science research, was of high quality, was relevant to their needs, provided important resources, and met expectations. Near the completion of the professional development program participating teachers were asked to discuss their experience before implementation and seven themes emerged: (1)Relevancy of topic (2)Knowledge about the topic (3)Comfort with implementation (4) Knowledge about scientific process (5) Student engagement (6) Issues with implementation (7)Program focus.
In its first year the program is making strives to achieve the goals of the project. In particular overall student mean scores on the posttests significantly increased from pretest scores. SEADAP has impacted student knowledge about; the science of drug addiction, biomedical careers, and how animal models are used in medical research.
Principal Author: Jee Kyung Suh, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Soonhye Park, University of Iowa
This study fundamentally aims to improve the understanding of how teachers' thoughts and beliefs shape their orientations to teaching science and how those orientations are reflected in teaching practices that foster students' learning about science. This study used an exploratory mixed- method to identify the core elements of a teacher’s Epistemic Orientation toward Teaching Science (EOTS) that impact instructional practice aligned with essential features of science practices, and to develop and validate an instrument for assessing science teachers’ EOTS. Building on research into teacher beliefs, this study empirically explored the beliefs and practices of three expert teachers. The core elements of EOTS can be targeted in endeavors aimed at improving the teaching of science in the K-12 classroom. Moreover the development of the measure will make a contribution in raising the level of comprehension of teachers’ epistemic orientations.
Principal Author: Tonia Y.. Sprinkle, Teachers College/Columbia UniversityAbstract:
This study reports on findings of 10 public school K-6 elementary teacher’s attitudes about teaching science education. One 4th grade African female teacher participated in two 15-minute classroom observations. During both observations, students sat quietly in groups of four at their desks completing English Language Arts dittos or silently reading books for a number of different genres as the teacher sat at her desk preparing lessons and grading student work. The primary research questions for the study were what are the attitudes of elementary teachers about teaching science education and does self-efficacy contribute to classroom instruction? The data were collected from September 2014 to December 2014 during a 12-week period. The data collected consisted of the researcher’s field notes from two 15-minute classroom observations, a 20-question survey with a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 to 4, and an interview with one of the 10 participants. The data collected from all of the participants were analyzed. The findings from the surveys and the interview with one teacher indicated a lack of time due to preparation for the English Language Arts and Mathematics state exams, not having a strong background in science, and diminished resources affected teachers’ self-efficacy. It is suggested that,
If teachers are struggling to implement the curriculum, the school might implement study groups as a part of professional development. “We ask, “What can principals do to facilitate and support faculty study groups that foster teacher learning and student achievement. (Mullen & Hutinger, 2008, p. 277)
The school might participate in job embedded professional development as a part of their daily instruction. Job embedded professional development “infuses teacher learning into daily practice, study groups evaluate their own learning and that of students” (Mullen & Hutinger, 2008, p. 283). This study will look at the implementation of professional development on improving teachers’ self-efficacy.
Principal Author: Jin-Ichi Okumura, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka University
According to the course of study for high school biology in Japan, the purpose of study is to develop inquiry ability and positive attitudes toward science through experiments and observations. However, because of their access to the virtual world, modern high school students have had less contact with nature in their childhood. Therefore, biological concepts are hard for them to understand concretely. So, in science classes, they could not see the relevance of living things and biological phenomena.
There were many high school students who could not believe egg embryos could become fully hatched birds with only a 34- or 46- hour incubation period, as described in an experiment from a commonly used high school textbook, even with careful observation. That was why we developed lesson plans not only to observe avian embryos, but also to continue incubation until the eggs hatched. We also made students study about egg incubation methods themselves using Bio-STEM ideas.
When the embryos did not develop into chicks, most of the students were eager to try the experiment again. They designed and made two types of artificial incubators to solve their questions and tried to incubate eggs again with their own incubators. At the second challenge to hatch, the students finally worked out how to get a chick using their own machine.
As a result of designing and making the artificial incubators, the students generated many ideas connected to the STEM fields deepened their cross-cutting scientific thoughts. Importantly, students were able to experience the wonder of life in a real and concrete way. Through their experiences in Bio-STEM, the students were encouraged to form scientific and technological minds and attitudes.
Principal Author: Yejun Bae, The University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jee Kyung Suh, The University of Iowa; Soonhye Park, The University of Iowa; Brian Hand, The University of Iowa
Professional development (PD) is a place for communication with teachers and researchers, learning collaborations, and self-development. 18 middle school teachers’ PD participation to implement the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) as an argument-based inquiry approach that is strongly correlated with student gains in science learning and critical thinking has been conducted. This baseline phase addresses the research questions that examine the relationship between teacher changes in their belief and knowledge of ABI and their growth in implementation level, and the relationship between critical features of PD and teacher changes in beliefs and practice. This research found that PD improves the quality of implementation which is directly linked to the impact of SWH approach on student performance. Positive teacher change in the effective professional development is very important as it is a critical and productive place for teacher development. In addition, teacher participation in PDs plays a significant role in development of argument-based inquiry strategies as a means of improving students’ conceptual understanding of science and critical thinking skills. This research ensure the improvement learning environment through teacher improvement in their understanding of argumentation, beliefs about learning, and practices with SWH approaches.
Principal Author: Gillian Roehrig, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tasneem Anwar, University of Minnesota
During the recent years STEM integration was recognized beyond just mathematics and science. Empirical evidences also show a positive impact of STEM integration on learning. But the biggest challenge lies in providing STEM specific professional development that can provide teachers with a scaffold for implementing STEM integrated curriculum. Research suggests that coaching can provide a sustained support to science teachers. The collaborative and trust-based nature of instructional coaching model that focuses on the on the “Big four”; behavior, content knowledge, direct instruction, and formative assessment (Knight, 2009) makes it a best fit to support science teachers for the implementation of STEM integrated curriculum. This study focuses on the instructional coaching support provided to the science teachers during the pilot phase of the yearlong project. Specifically, authors explore the impact of coaching support provided to the teams of teachers during summer curriculum development and informal pilot. This exploratory case study provides evidence of developing a strong scaffold for teachers through coaching partnership along with STEM specific professional development. It seems this collaboration may increase over time. Findings of this study affirm Knight’s (2009) statement that coaching is a promising approach for accelerating professional learning.
Principal Author: Tasneem Anwar, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
In the ever-changing global society, problems are multidisciplinary and hence seek solution from multiple disciplines. This alone provides more reasons to explore integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in international contexts. To add further, emphasis on “universal STEM acquisition” (Marginson, Tytler, Freeman, and Roberts, 2013, pg.68) reflects the ubiquitous role of science, mathematics and technology internationally. This study offers a design-based research to design, implement, improve and suggest evidence-based heuristics for STEM specific, effective, and sustainable online teacher professional development in Pakistan. This study used Reeves & McKenney (2012)’s three- phase design framework that was convenient to a graduate student’s schedule that is limited by time and funds. An exploratory case study looked at the design based online teacher professional development and generated design principles for online teacher professional development and also proposed a model for STEM integration that is grounded in theory and specific context.
Principal Author: Kimberly H. Lott, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alan C. Lott
Early exposure to STEM activities has shown to increase student interest in science in later grades; however, to what extent can young students use technology tools to engage in scientific investigations and engineering design?
This presentation will present the results of pilot data gathered to inform the development of the integrated STEM project T3 SCIENCE2 (Technological Tools to Teach Student Centered Interactive Embedded NGSS Content in Early Elementary). The primary goal of this project is to increase the capacity of K-2 teachers to provide innovative, integrated STEM learning opportunities that leverage technology tools for the enhancement of learning core STEM practices and content. The purpose of the pilot study was to investigate the effects of an integrated STEM unit on student learning within a Kindergarten classroom.
In this study, the integrated STEM activities were embedded within the regular classroom during a unit on living and non-living things. Students received structured inquiry-based instruction along with informational text readings followed by technology-enhanced scientific explorations. The unit culminated in an engineering challenge where kindergarten students were given the task of programing a robot that could respond to stimuli, much like a living thing.
Preliminary findings indicate that using technology tools increases kindergarten science content knowledge. Students have transitioned from using naïve language like, “it is alive because it has a face” to more scientific statements like, “it is alive because it breathes.” Students also are more actively engaged in NGSS science practices when using technology tools alongside of their typical explorations. One of the strongest takeaways from this preliminary research is that Kindergarten students, with very minimal instruction and adult intervention, can complete an engineering challenge, including the simple coding of a robot.
Principal Author: Brendan E. Callahan, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael Dias, Kennesaw State University
High Impact Practices (HIPs) have the potential to promote deeper learning in undergraduate students. Although HIPs have been implemented in various ways across college campuses, they have been shown to promote student learning and engagement. The setting for this study is Kennesaw State University (KSU) in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. We focused on two research questions: 1. What types of High Impact Practices do science teachers experience, and 2. How do experiences with High Impact Practices affect their teaching practice. The National Survey of Student Engagement is a survey administered to students during their first year of college as well as their last (senior) year. This course-grained source of information has the potential to provide some overall information regarding the HIP experiences of our students during their first year and throughout their college career. However, an interview process is necessary to further elicit the types of practices the students experienced during their college years, as well as the impact of these practices on their own teaching. Results from the NSSE for Kennesaw State University indicate that students report a higher overall incidence of high impact practice experiences than both the KSU Peer and KSU Aspirations universities. First year students at KSU tend to experience service learning at a greater rate than either a learning community or research with faculty. By their senior year the type of practices students experience tends to become more diverse. More than half of the science majors (both biology and physical sciences) engage in a research experience with a faculty member, and more than half experience an internship or field experience. Education majors, however, tend not to experience research with faculty, but rather engage in an internship/field experience and service learning type experiences. Although data analysis is not complete on the interviews with the practicing teachers, we are interested to see the extent that these experiences have influenced their teaching practice.
Principal Author: Celestin Ntemngwa, University of Houston-DowntownAbstract:
Co-Authors: Steve Oliver, University of Georgia
The Next Generation Science Standards (2013) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) emphasize scientific and engineering practices that are fundamental to understanding principles of STEM disciplinary knowledge. A coherent understanding of integrated STEM instruction requires students to draw on knowledge constructed in multiple disciplinary contexts. In this study, we used case study method to: a) investigate middle school science teachers’ design and implementation of an integrated STEM instruction in their regular science classroom using robotics equipment to give students a STEM experience. This was done through authentic design project-based tasks; b) analyze middle school science teachers’ perceptions of the integrated STEM instruction as an approach they can use in their regular science classroom and how it affects students learning. This presentation highlights what we learned in the study as four middle school science teachers and a technology collaborated to design and implement integrated STEM instruction in the science classrooms using robotics equipment. Our findings highlight the different implementation approaches and processes used by the teachers—what we describe as “decomposing” and “holistic” strategies and processes of “trial and error” and the challenges they faced. Our findings also shed light on the teachers’ prior experiences with integrated STEM instruction and the support that they need to be effective in such an instructional approach.
Principal Author: Lori A. Fulton, University of Hawaii at ManoaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Seungoh Paek, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Note taking applications for tablet devices offer the potential for meaningful integration of science and technology through the use of digital notebooks. With the influx of tablet devices in elementary classrooms, the notebook has the potential to move from a traditional composition book to a digital format for students of all ages. This study examined four pre-service teacher candidates’ thoughts on using a digital notebook during a STEM methods course. An application developed by Ginger Lab, Notability, served as the digital notebook. The teacher candidates were introduced to science/STEM notebooks and the note-taking application during the course and used the notebook as a resource throughout the semester to document their work and learning related to teaching and learning STEM topics. At the end of the course three of the four candidates stated they preferred using a digital notebook over a paper notebook, with the most popular tools being the handwriting and photo tools. The ability to add photos, video, and audio to their notebook entries were found to be the biggest advantage of a digital notebook.
The candidates then taught in a summer science camp and incorporated digital notebooks into their camp lessons. Two candidates co-taught a STEM Grades 4/5 camp, one candidate taught a Nature Studies Grades 4/5 camp, and one candidate taught a Nature Studies Grades 6-8 camp. Results of this integration will be shared as well as the impact it had on the candidates’ thinking related to digital notebooks. Preliminary data suggest that access to technology might have played a role in the amount of integration that took place, as some candidates were more successful than others in integrating the digital notebook into their lessons. While there is potential for meaningful integration of science and technology through the use of a digital notebook, this potential is not yet fully realized at the elementary level. Further research is needed to understand the impact a move to digital notebooks could have on the teaching and learning of science practices and concepts.
Principal Author: Vanessa D. Dodo Seriki, Loyola University MarylandAbstract:
Science teacher education continues to prepare new teachers who “ . . . a limited knowledge base of how to teach science to culturally and linguistically diverse students . . .” (Bravo, Mosqueda, Solis & Stoddart, 2014, p. 602). A culturally relevant science methods course was developed to provide preservice science teachers with an opportunity to develop an understanding of how culture, language, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomics impact the teaching and learning of science. For the syllabus sharing, the presenter intends to share the frameworks used to design this course, and the intentional learning experiences used. This syllabus was an integral part of a mixed methods study, which sought to examine the impact of a culturally relevant science methods course on preservice teachers’ (PST) culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy (CRTSE); understanding of culturally relevant teaching; and their ability to make connections between science teaching and learning and culturally relevant teaching. Using principles of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) (Gay, 2000) and the three tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) (Ladson-Billings, 1995), coupled with the culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy (Siwatu, 2007) as a framework, the researcher developed and implemented learning opportunities that made explicit linkages between CRP and science teaching and learning. Findings suggest that integrating CRT/CRP into methods courses helps preservice teachers connect theory (i.e., culturally responsive teaching) to practice (i.e., science teaching), and improve their self-efficacy toward enacting culturally relevant/responsive teaching practices. However, additional studies are needed to determine whether this course influenced the future practices of these preservice teachers.
Principal Author: Jon Yoshioka, University of Hawaii at ManoaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lori A. Fulton, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Online learning is steadily increasing in all areas of education, including courses that require a high level of socially constructed learning, like science. Online learning may consist of classes taught asynchronously or those taught using a hybrid or blended approach, in which synchronous sessions supplement the online modules. This paper shares the design and outcomes of a hybrid elementary science methods course. This course was designed to promote the teaching and learning of science as a practice. Pre-service candidates were enrolled in the course as part of their undergraduate teacher education program. Sixteen online modules were supplemented with four face-to-face sessions and three synchronous sessions throughout the semester. A mixed-methods approach was used to study the effect the course had on elementary pre-service teacher candidates’ confidence, content knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge related to science. Results of a preliminary study suggest that teacher candidates gained scientific content knowledge, but gained little in the way of pedagogical content knowledge as they participated in one module. Next steps include observing pre-service teacher candidates throughout the entire sixteen-module course and collecting formative survey data on the design of the course. In addition, we will administer the STEBI and a background knowledge assessment to determine how the hybrid course influences pre-service teacher candidates’ confidence in teaching science, their understanding of the science content, and their understanding of the pedagogical content knowledge. These data will be collected during fall 2015 and reported at the annual meeting of the Association of Science Teacher Educators.
Principal Author: Muhammad Abd Hadi Bunyamin, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities & Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Fred Finley, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Internationally, STEM education has been given huge attention in the United States and partially in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that gives particular attention to integrating science and engineering practices. However, there is a question which is, “Is STEM education feasible in other countries?” This question is important because the debates about STEM education are still going on all over the world especially on how to put STEM integration into real practices in K-12 science. This paper focuses on STEM education in Malaysia as an initial case to be studied and this initial study is a determination of what STEM elements are in the current curriculum. We used content analysis method to review the current physics curriculum. The physics curriculum was selected because there is a natural fit between physics and engineering at the school science level. The primary finding was that there is a need to revise the national science education philosophy because it does not explicitly tell about STEM. Furthermore, the philosophy drives the whole direction of science education in Malaysia. Hence, a new philosophy is required for the future science curricula which explicitly mention about STEM integration.
Principal Author: Xinying Yin, California State University-San BernardinoAbstract:
In standard-based science education, teachers’ views of and experiences with the implementation of standards are particularly important for the fate of standards-based reform efforts (Donnelly & Sadler, 2007). In the United States, the newly released Next Generation Science Standards are setting up new and higher expectations for science education. The successful implementation of NGSS will take systemic effort for the changes in instruction, curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation and professional development. Among such efforts, inputting global perspectives from other countries that has been going through science education reforms with similar efforts could instill new insights for the reform of American science education. Although the current Chinese science education standards are different than NGSS, there are some important commonalities. By understanding Chinese high school chemistry teachers’ conceptions and practices of NGSS-related requirements, not only Chinese educators can improve science teacher professional development, American educators can also utilize the successes and challenges to better prepare science teachers for the implementation of NGSS. This study interviewed 26 Chinese high school chemistry teachers’ conceptions and practices about the Chinese high school chemistry curriculum standards. Findings are reported in five aspects: 1. teachers’ overall conceptions about standards, 2. teachers’ conceptual and practical interpretations of the “three dimensions”, 3. teachers’ understandings about and teaching of “big ideas” in chemistry, 4. teachers’ interpretation and teaching of the application of knowledge and 5. technology and engineering in Chinese high school teaching. Implications for Chinese science education, the implementation of NGSS in the U.S. and standard-based education at large are provided.
Principal Author: Brandy Bourdeaux, University of Colorado, DenverAbstract:
Co-Authors: Geeta Verma, University of Colorado, Denver; Kirstyn Dutton, Regis Jesuit High School, Boys Division; Kathleen Willson, Regis Jesuit High School, Girls Division; Helen Douglass, University of Colorado, Denver
This poster presentation describes a series of hybrid-model professional development (PD) modules that were presented to a group of science teachers at a large private high school. Various reform documents were incorporated into a personalized model of PD that was dynamic and relevant for the teachers. The goal of the teachers at the school was to engage their students, particularly the students in the Girls Division, more deeply in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) topics, and potentially inspire them to pursue careers in STEM in the future. The PD used state standards as well as NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) Dimensions and Cross-Cutting Concepts to rework and revamp teachers’ existing lesson plans to meet teacher goals. The PD was presented in online modules and in-person workshops that were tailored to the needs of the teachers and of the school.
Principal Author: Jamie N. Mikeska, ETSAbstract:
Co-Authors: Geoffrey Phelps, ETS; Andrew Croft, ETS
Currently the field is hampered by the lack of valid and reliable assessments of science teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT) that can be used to develop a strong evidentiary basis for making decisions about what aspects of teachers’ knowledge should be the focus of various professional learning opportunities. It is critical that teacher educators and professional development providers have access to tools they can use to track teachers’ learning and determine which aspects of science teachers’ knowledge to target in their work. Although this is the case across K-12 education, it is especially important at the elementary level where teachers are expected to teach multiple subjects and are more likely to have limited knowledge in this area. In this presentation, we report on findings from the online administration of a set of content knowledge for teaching science assessments developed for upper elementary teachers across three science content areas: matter, ecosystems, and Earth’s place in the universe. In particular, we examine whether there are measurable differences in these teachers’ performance on assessments of their practice-based CKT and their subject matter knowledge. Findings contribute to the validation of a design theory for measures of CKT science. This work will provide an important step towards building consensus in the field about the most productive approaches for developing assessments of elementary teachers’ knowledge in order to inform ongoing teacher education and professional development efforts in science.
Principal Author: Stacey A. Britton, University of MississippiAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amber Carpenter-McCullough, University of Mississippi
Online educational pedagogies continue to change as more Internet based courses become embedded in institutes of higher education (Shelley, D.J., Swartz, L. B., & Cole, M., 2009). Although online course management tools such as BlackBoard and WebCT are provided by universities and frequently used by professors, many other online platforms are readily available and may offer alternative methods for interaction within virtual environments.
This study is grounded in interpretivism and represents ecojustice philosophy as a guiding framework for one online science education course. Interpretivism, as a theoretical framework described by Schwant (2003), was utilized to reveal the nature of the graduate students’ perspectives, when utilizing Google community as means for facilitating learning in a graduate science education course. Interpretivism was selected as the framework for this research because the study focuses on “situated interpretations of the social life-world” (Crotty, 2004, p. 67) and the knowledge and perspective of each particular student. Ecojustice provides an opportunity for focusing on the interconnectedness of both earth and social systems. The use of this philosophical lens encourages change by promoting consideration of the relationship which often exists between areas of environmental degradation and impoverished social groups (Bowers, 2001).
In order to explore the educational impact of using a Google community instead of a standard online platform used by the university, this study focused on a group of graduate students who agreed to participate throughout the duration of the course. Data includes artifacts, participant observations as well as discussions, chat sessions, and online journaling. The experiences of 36 graduate students enrolled in an online education course were examined as they participated in the professor-created and managed Google plus community. Findings from this study indicate that the students’ experiences were invaluable in helping them navigate and make meaning of science and community.
Principal Author: Mark D. Guy, University of North DakotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Steven Ternes, University of North Dakota; Richard Hechter, University of Manitoba, Canada
This paper is a continuation of a research study presented at the 2014 & 2015 ASTE Conferences of our effort to help pre-service elementary teachers learn to teach science within the context of envisioning and creating their own science content videos. Our research reports on an innovative approach of using technology tools to connect science content and pedagogy in an elementary science methods course. Specifically, we report the planning and rationale of using pre-service teachers’ original science videos aligned with specific phases of the 5E instructional model as well as scientific practices articulated by the Next Generation Science Standards (Lead States, 2013).
Pre-service teachers determined the science concepts to be explored in their movie and the specific 5E phase (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) that best reflected the movie’s content and purpose. This paper focuses on Spring 2015 semester in which PSTs were placed into groups of four and created two videos – one Engage video and one Explain video on a science topic they selected. In all phases, they used a variety of contemporary technology tools (laptops/iPads/smartphones) to create and edit their video suitable. Finished movies were posted to a private YouTube channel.
During Phase IV, data were collected from three sources: a) responses to pre and post-movie written surveys, b) video-taped movie group interviews (four participants each), and c) the submitted science concept movies.
Findings suggest that pre-service teachers became more knowledgeable of the instructional purpose of the Engage and Explain phases within a 5E model to promote science learning among teachers and students.
Results also indicate that participants found great value in this project related to: a) worthwhile and fun learning; b) creative expression; c) collaborative process; and d) learning from peers’ videos. Implications include enhancing “explanations with evidence” in the videos and authentic integration of technology to promote science teaching and learning among teachers and students.
Principal Author: Young-Shin Park, Chosun UniversityAbstract:
The purposes of this study were two dimensions; (1) one was to explore the pattern of science communication in the exhibit panes of dinosaur internationally with the use of SEPAT (Science Exhibit Panel Analyzing Tool) which has been developed by the research on the basis of theoretical review. The SEPAT was employed to profile the pattern of science communication at three different countries (Korea, Taiwan, and USA). Those patterns have been compared to illustrate what components of science communication were included or limited in the exhibit panels of dinosaur. I figured out what types of text in panels improved science communication in the exhibit panels. The texts of question types and from historical or philosophical views were found out to promote the missing or limited science communication. (2) I designed the workshop through which educators(docents in this study) had chances to reflect on their theories and practices about science communication. 10 preservice docents were surveyed about their understandings about science communication, they could select one exhibit theme to write scenario and they performed interpretation through situated learning context, they were offered workshop where they could learn theories about science communication, and they developed another same scenario for better performance on the basis of new formed theories and practices which they learned during workshop. After performance, participants were surveyed again to see how their understandings about science communication had been changed. 10 participants displayed little understandings about science communication however, after workshop, they changed or newly formed perception about science communication and performed exhibit-based interpretation with more components of science communication. In conclusion, it is critical for exhibit developers or docent managers to understand science communication systematically to develop the ideal exhibit panels, employ appropriate medias, or train docents to be expertise with the aim of revitalization in science museum education.
Principal Author: Susan R. Hawkins, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith A. Park Rogers, Indiana University
Current reform in science education calls for a responsive style of instruction necessitating the ability to notice and interpret what is happening within the framework of a lesson to more effectively address students’ needs. We were interested in learning how an intervention that employed the use of a content-specific moderated community of practice (CoP) with video of the PSTs’ weekly teaching as a focusing tool, could support growth in employing a responsive style of teaching. Thus this comparative case study (intervention vs control group) examines how two teams of preservice teachers (PSTs), each teaching a five lesson science unit on properties of solids and liquids during their early field experience, adopt a needs-based approach to their teaching based on attention given to student thinking. We found more growth in in the intervention group’s aspects of pedagogical content knowledge associated with knowledge of student thinking and curriculum. Evidence of growth in both of these forms of knowledge included increased ability to identify opportunities to elicit students’ thinking and their acceptance of the learning cycle model to plan lessons to elicit students’ thinking in order to scaffold a deeper understanding of concepts. Although PSTs in both groups espoused an understanding of learning theories, findings show only the intervention group explicitly trying to connect these theories to their practice. Implications for using this approach in science methods and field-based contexts will be discussed.
Principal Author: Heather A.. Rudolph, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah Tippins, University of Georgia; Elizabeth Pate, University of Texas, San Antonio
An ethnographic case study was conducted to learn how a group of eighth grade students from an urban school experienced enactment of the theory of action gardening as they worked to relate agricultural science concepts to their lives. Grounded in place conscious education (PCE), a theoretical framework of place-as-difference was used, which considers how place is perceived due to complex social, political, economic, and historical forces (Karrow & Fazio, 2010). The theory of action gardening worked well with garden based learning (GBL) and PCE because it promotes similar concepts such as forming bonds of community, learning how to make choices now that will affect the future, and learning to work together toward equity for all. Three main themes will be discussed: 1) establishing relevancy in education through connection of schoolwork and family knowledge using authentic gardening experiences; 2) garden-based learning (GBL) as supporting the enjoyment of the process of learning and 3) GBL as a way to facilitate student autonomy. Through engagement in GBL experiences, the students in this study capitalized on their strengths to display autonomy in tasks and content that connected their school and homes. Science teacher educators will learn from students’ perspectives about their engagement with action gardening which can be used to inform future teachers’ practices.
Principal Author: John L. Pecore, University of West FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura L. Carruth, Georgia State University; Elizabeth C. Jeffress, Georgia State University
Griffith & Scharmann (2008) reported that a majority of elementary teachers spend no more than 90 minutes per week teaching science. Teachers may not teach science for a variety of reasons such as pressure to focus more on reading and mathematics and low self-confidence and anxiety towards science (Lee & Houseal, 2003). Approximately one third of experienced teachers express a lack of confidence about being qualified to teach science (Abell & Roth, 1994; Weiss et al,, 2001) which is concerning as the current Next Generation Science Standards are more focused and promote a deeper understanding of science in each grade (NRC, 2011). Integral to enhancing K-12 education and teaching the new science standards, teachers must have a better understanding of the learning progressions (LPs) of their students. Providing elementary teachers with in-depth science content connected to the standards and viewing the content through student LPs, may assist in developing elementary teachers’ understanding and views of LPs. This conference paper describes the design and pilot use of a Views on Learning Progressions survey instrument and research conducted when providing elementary teachers a professional development workshop focused on improving science content while considering the LPs of their students. Workshop attendees completed a pre and post views on LP survey to assess perceptions of, anxiety toward, value of, self-efficacy with, and school support for LPs. While more work is necessary on developing the survey to achieve acceptable internal consistency reliability, pilot results are promising. Results of the workshop revealed that participants maintained a high perception of LPs and low anxiety toward LPs. Participants’ self-efficacy with LPs remained neutral while school support for LPs remained low. Participants held misconceptions about LPs. Initially, participants viewed LPs within a specific grade not considering how learning progressed across grade levels. One of the barriers to developing LPs was a lack of conceptual science content understanding.
Principal Author: Rajika E. Reed, Lehigh UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alec M. Bodzin, Lehigh University
The Malaria in the Environment curriculum for Advance Placement (AP) Environmental Sciences learners used geospatial technologies to promote environmental sciences learning and geospatial thinking and reasoning skills in public health education. The curriculum was developed using a design partnership model with a science teacher educator, classroom teachers, instructional designers, and experts in curriculum design with geospatial learning technologies. The Web GIS used and presented in this session was created using Esri’s ArcGIS and included twenty years (1990 to 2010) of Malaria data published by the Worlds Health Organization. Web-based maps were developed with limited data layering and geo-referenced data was made available to students through map visualizations using a user-friendly, intuitive interface. The Web GIS curriculum focused on the health disease topic of Malaria.
In the curriculum, students learned about Malaria as it related to the environment. Students were introduced to map visualizations and GIS time-lapse video for disease trends within the environment and learned how to analyze these visualizations to discover geospatial patterns and trends over time. Students worked with Web GIS data to investigate global patterns of Malaria spread and worked toward developing solutions to halt the spread of Malaria in African countries. We conducted an effectiveness study to investigate how the Web GIS curriculum improved students’ knowledge of disease patterns and environmental influences and promoted students’ geospatial thinking and reasoning skills. Results found significant increases in both students’ content knowledge and geospatial thinking and reasoning skills. The effectiveness of the design partnership model is presented with a focus on how the curriculum enactment of the Web GIS investigations and the curriculum materials provided teachers with professional growth.
Principal Author: Jenna Porter, California State University, SacramentoAbstract:
The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI) was used to measure efficacy levels of 23 multiple subject credential students pre and post a science methods course. A statistically significant increase was found on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy subscale. Surveys were also administered to credential students to determine their ideas about effective science teaching strategies and challenges in science education. Identified challenges to science education included lack of time and resources, as well as the need for teachers’ strong content knowledge.
Principal Author: Stephanie Hathcock, Oklahoma State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Toni Ivey, Oklahoma State University
This presentation showcases research on pre-service elementary science teachers’ professional identity (PI) systems. We will discuss the application of a new theoretical framework for professional identity research, and highlight similarities and differences in the PI’s of our students based on a differentiated science teacher preparation program. Results indicate that students developed more informed perceptions and beliefs about scientists and science teachers over the course of the semester. While some students entered the semester with a sense of purpose and action possibilities related to a more active, learner-centered classroom, most left with this in place, begging the question of what happens to these teachers’ PI systems as they begin their careers.
Principal Author: Carolyn Parker, The Johns Hopkins UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amanda Laurier, The Johns Hopkins University; Erica Smith, The Johns Hopkins University; David McKinney, The Johns Hopkins University
This project is situated in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded multi-year Math Science Partnership (MSP) between a university and an urban school district in the eastern United States. The MSP focuses on improving STEM education in grades three through five through the implementation of an integrated STEM curriculum, teacher professional development opportunities, an after-school program for students, and community events. A district-developed, integrated STEM curriculum was adopted for use by the MSP. Through the MSP, the curriculum was refined and validated assessment questions were integrated as pre and post unit assessments. Item analysis of the assessment questions were used to identify both areas of the curriculum and assessment items to revise. Assessment items were refined to better the learning goals of the unit (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). The curriculum was revised to make connections between student explorations more explicit. This ongoing process will be ongoing and will refine and enhance the integrated STEM curriculum in use in the district. Findings from this work inform collaborative curriculum initiatives between institutions of higher education and public school districts.
Principal Author: Kaylan B. Petrie, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
While many elementary teacher preparation programs strive to train undergraduate students for real-life teaching experiences, many do not incorporate out-of-class teaching experiences beyond traditional practicums and student teaching. Research has shown that including an experience with an informal science institution such as a science museum, zoo, aquarium, or nature center has positive gains for pre-service teachers at both the elementary and secondary levels. These gains include a higher awareness of constructivist and inquiry-based science teaching pedagogy, improved self-efficacy in teaching, exposure and practice teaching learners of all ages including adults, an understanding of how to effectively facilitate a field trip to an informal science institution in the future, and seeing the “bigger picture” of teaching. This roundtable will discuss a science methods course at a large but rural university and its approach of using informal science teaching at a small local science center, YMCA, and STEM tutoring center to give students real-life experience teaching science to elementary children and their caretakers.
Principal Author: Kristina M. Tank, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tamara J. Moore, Purdue University; Bhaskar Upadhyay, University of Minnesota
With the increased emphasis on improved teaching and learning in STEM disciplines and the integration of engineering in K-12 science classrooms, it is important to examine what implications that might have for teachers and students in these classrooms. The recently published Frameworks for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012), which forms the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS lead states, 2013), calls for the integration of science and engineering at the elementary level. However, given that engineering integration at the elementary level is still very new, there is little research in the area of engineering and what models of effective instruction in engineering exist at the elementary level (NRC, 2009).
Therefore, it is important for researchers to examine how these national documents and policies emphasizing the integration of engineering translated into classroom practice. As more schools and teachers are integrating engineering and STEM into their classrooms, it is important that researchers and teacher educators are looking at the experiences and practices of these teachers to better understand what factors are influencing the implementation of engineering in elementary classrooms. This research study provides findings regarding a model of integrating engineering into science instruction by examining elementary classrooms and teachers who are currently implementing engineering in an attempt to better understand the experiences, practices, and factors impacting successful implementation of engineering into elementary science.
Principal Author: Robert C. Idsardi, Jr, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara A. Crawford, University of Georgia
This study explored what experiences might supplement traditional doctoral programs in science education for students with no K-12 teaching experience to prepare them to be highly qualified science teacher educators. Researchers looked critically at the first author’s own experiences in a doctoral program of study through qualitative methodology, using a combination of case study and self-study. Using ASTE's standards of professional knowledge for science teacher educators as a framework, we described what experiences addressed the first author’s specific needs as a novice science teacher educator with no teaching experience.
Currently, major advisors and institutions offer their own diverse programs of study that are tailored to doctoral students’ needs and goals. While few would suggest creating a one for all, standard program of study, all can benefit from exploration on what experiences help prepare doctoral students to educate future science teachers. This is especially important for current science teacher educators who are mentoring doctoral students with no classroom-based teaching experience. These doctoral students must have supplemental experiences to enhance their understanding of science teacher education that advisors with teaching experience did not need in their own doctoral program of study. Understanding the perspective of a doctoral student with no teaching experience will help inform science teacher educators on how to successfully mentor their own doctoral students and novice teacher educators with no teaching experience. We hope to engage the audience in a thoughtful conversation about the issues and possible solutions on how to best prepare future academic science teacher educators who do not have traditional teaching experiences.
Principal Author: Christina L. McDaniel, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan M.. Walker, Mississippi State University
The 2012 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Standards for Teacher Preparation outlines advanced and core competencies for each area of science education licensures. The 2013 NSTA spa report for the Mississippi State University secondary science education program highlighted deficiencies in alignment with the NSTA standards, indicating that the curriculum fell short at the level of supporting competencies and overall alignment of 54% for the biology, 81% for the chemistry and 66% for the physics licensure programs. In Phase I of this study, degree modifications were designed to standardize requirements across all science education concentrations to ensure 100% compliance to NSTA. The degree modifications allowed for more flexibility in licensure areas, potentially alleviating difficulties with critical shortage areas, issues with rural communities, and matriculation from other institutions by providing opportunities for multiple licensure with one degree. In addition, a science artifact portfolio including a teacher laboratory practical, discrepant events in science, misconceptions in science, classroom-based lesson plans, laboratory-based lesson plans, and professional development was designed to allow for intervention of standards not met by teacher candidates in the fall 2014 secondary science methods course. Preliminary results of this single subject research suggested strong mastery of content knowledge with identifiable barriers in instructional organization, such as understanding by design lesson planning that need to be clarified prior to teaching internships. A case study analysis will be conducted to determine effectiveness of the alignment as well as the science artifact portfolio upon completion of the 2014 fall secondary science methods course. Additionally, the data analyzed from the fall 2014 course will be compared with the spring 2015 secondary science methods course.
Principal Author: Austin M.. Hitt, Coastal Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Doug W.. Smith, Coastal Carolina University
In our roles as science teacher educators, we frequently receive lesson plans and observe inquiry lessons that are not adequately scaffolded. In the past, we approached this scaffolding issue by pointing out “the gaps” in the preservice teachers’ lessons. This process generally involved us, as methods instructors, sharing our ideas on how to improve the lesson. For their part the preservice science teachers would take copious notes and afterwards make the prescribed changes to their lessons. Eventually, after multiple one-on-one meetings and additional teaching experiences, most of our preservice teachers developed a sense of how to scaffold their inquiry lessons. However, a disconcerting number of our preservice science teachers consistently struggled to provide appropriate scaffolding in their lessons. In order to facilitate the development of our preservice science teachers scaffolding skills, we devised an explicit protocol for critiquing and modifying the scaffolding of inquiry lessons.
The goal of this presentation is to introduce an explicit protocol, Inquiry Scaffolding Protocol (ISP), that preservice teachers can use to improve the quality of the scaffolding (written and oral prompts) within their inquiry lessons. First, the inquiry instructional models and learning theories upon which the protocol is based will be discussed. Next, the steps of the ISP will be explained. Finally, the impact of the ISP on our preservice science teachers’ understanding of (a) the relative complexity of science concepts, (b) the need to focus on fewer concepts or big ideas in an individual lesson or within a unit and (c) how and when they need to guide students thinking during instruction will be discussed.
Principal Author: Meredith W. Kier, College of William and MaryAbstract:
Co-Authors: Seema Rivera, Union Graduate College; Alisandra P. Thompson, Howard University
TeachLivE allows preservice and in-service teachers to practice their delivery of content in an environment where they receive age-appropriate feedback and experience behavioral issues that are similar to a real-life classroom. In this study TeachLivE was used to give twenty-one elementary preservice teachers (EPTs) at an urban-centered, historically black university (HBU) in the southeastern US an opportunity to plan and teach a lesson segment with immediate feedback from their instructor on their pedagogy and content knowledge. EPTs planned a 60- minute, fifth grade lesson on matter; ten of those EPTs were randomly selected to deliver a 15-minute segment of their lesson in TeachLivE.. This study asks, Does planning and rehearsing a science lesson in TeachLive allow for opportunities to learn about students’ early pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in science? EPTs were recorded while they rehearsed their lesson twice in TeachLive; EPTs were given instructor feedback and time to personally reflect (via a writing prompt) following both rehearsals. The Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol (RTOP; Piburn et al., 2000) was used to analyze teachers’ videos and scores were compared from pre to post rehearsal. EPTs’ reflections were inductively coded to identify themes related to pedagogical content knowledge. Findings suggest that EPTs increased their pedagogy scores related to classroom culture and planning but had misconceptions in content and low content knowledge scores in both rehearsals. Student reflections elaborate upon RTOP scores and suggest that students placed more emphasis upon performing their lesson and connecting with students in the simulation and less emphasis on understanding the content. These findings provide implications for restructuring teacher preparation courses to incorporate more science content and pedagogy courses for EPTs and for using the TeachLivE experience to focus EPTs on researching science content prior to delivering instruction.
Principal Author: Neal Patel, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University; Caleb Grulke, Drake University; Colin Seebach, Drake University; Mitchell Klocke, Drake University
Elementary preservice teachers are typically intimidated by science. This intimidation too often leads them to either not teach science or teach science by following prescriptive curricula that misrepresent how science works and perpetuates misconceptions regarding the nature of science (NOS). To combat these problems, preservice elementary teachers ought to understand ways to teach that accurately model the NOS and draw students’ attention to NOS ideas.
This study sought to shed light on preservice elementary teachers (PSET) implementation of two approaches to teach nature of science (NOS). Using videos, we compared historical stories to black-box activities. Analysis focused on the extent to which PSETs were able to successfully implement the activities and how each activity supported PSETs.
Findings suggest that PSETs were generally able to effectively implement both kinds of activities. However, the historical stories tended to produce more instances of productive NOS instruction. Also, whichever activity was implemented first seemed to act as a scaffold for the second activity. Focus group interviews with the PSETs shed light on particular activities within the methods course that provided support for PSETs implementation of NOS instruction.
Principal Author: Caleb Grulke, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University; Neal Patel, Drake University; Mitchell Klocke, Drake University; Renald Daemicke, Drake University
Limited studies exist investigating the extent to which first year teachers include Nature of Science and Technology NOST in their classroom (Herman et. al, 2013; Lederman and Schwartz 2002). For successful translation of NOST understanding to classroom practices teachers must have strong understanding of specific content and NOST as well as strong PCK (Lederman and Schwartz, 2002; Aydin et. al, 2013). This study followed two recent graduates of the same preservice program during their first year of teaching to investigate the extent to which these teachers included NOST in their instruction. Data was collected through lesson observations, interviews, and collection of artifacts. Qualitative analysis was done to develop themes from the data. Initial data analysis show one success story and one failure to include NOST. Interestingly, the successful participant in this study was actively experiencing resistance to teaching NOST from colleagues while the other participant admitted not feeling constrained. While NOST understanding and PCK have an effect, our results indicate personality may have effects on NOST instruction in practicing teachers.
Principal Author: Hiya M. Almazroa, Princess Noura UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Fahad Alshaya, King Saud University; Abdulrahman Aloraini, Ministry of Education
This longitudinal study looked at (3236) science and mathematics teachers perceptions of professional development during a new curriculum implementation. A questionnaire was developed to measure teacher’s perceptions of professional development’s goals, content, support, approaches, and evaluation. Data collection has been coordinated and consistent across the five provinces, so that valid comparison could be made. Surveys conducted suggest that PD is far from ideal in providing effective learning opportunities for teachers. In order to realize the potential of the new curriculum, policymakers and PD leaders need to design learning opportunities that follow agreed-upon guidelines related to PD goals, content, support, approaches and evaluation.
Principal Author: Jerrid W. Kruse, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jesse Wilcox, Grand View University
A partnership among an urban school district and two universities has developed a professional development program to increase participating elementary teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical efficacy in mathematics and science. Specifically, teachers engaged in four professional development courses: Mathematical Practices, Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science over the course of 12 months. Each course focused on the content knowledge necessary to engage in effective instruction as well as pedagogical competencies. Importantly, each course built on previous courses to help teachers learn to integrate science and mathematics learning. Through the twelve-month professional development program, teachers engaged in active learning directly connected to their district’s goals. Furthermore, the sustained cohort model encouraged collegiality and created a network of support as the participating elementary teachers work to improve their practice. Finally, participating teachers will be invited to return for a second year to develop their capacity as mentors and coaches so that project objectives might be promoted well beyond the teachers directly involved in project activities.
Principal Author: Donna Farland-Smith, The Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Vinta A.. Tiarani, The Ohio State University
Eighth grade students in two cohorts, iSTEM and Traditional (N=146) were asked to complete a modification of the Draw An Engineer at Work Test (DAET). In which 438 illustrations were analyzed because each participant drew three pictures of engineers at work. Data analysis involved two phases. The first phase was a content analysis of the activities and artifacts of engineers at work. Eleven more themes emerged from students in the iSTEM Cohort than the traditionally taught students. Also, students in the iStem Cohort had a broader conception of the work engineers both in terms of the quantity (92) and quality of the advanced conceptions of engineers. In the second phase, illustrations were analyzed using the Draw-An-Engineer-At-Work-Test Rubric DAEWT (Thomas, 2015). DAEWT included evaluating each students’ set of illustrations (3) of engineers at work in the following categories: 1) the use of math in engineering; 2) the use of science in engineering; 3) gender stereotypes; and 4) the work of an engineer in general. A two-tailed, independent sample t-test was used to compare illustrations from each group. Data revealed a significant difference (p
Principal Author: KARTHIGEYAN SUBRAMANIAM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXASAbstract:
Co-Authors: PAMELA HARRELL, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; EUN YOUNG LEE, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; SUMREEN ASIM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; ELISABETH POPE, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
This presentation reports on a descriptive study of prospective elementary and secondary teachers’ depictions of scientific practices as evident within their drawn images of teacher as scientist, male as scientist, and female as scientist. This area of research is pertinent because there is limited and/or no studies that have investigated how prospective teachers’ experiences with university science courses, laboratory coursework and K-12 science classrooms have developed into practical knowledge on scientific practices for use in their future science classrooms. This study aimed to identify, and classify prospective elementary, and secondary teachers’ depictions of scientific practices through the images they hold about scientists. Image is proposed as a construct to understand prospective teachers’ particularistic knowledge of scientific practices, and drawings were used to derive images of scientific practices through the drawings of scientists. Analysis of drawings indicated that most of the participants, despite taking many science courses, lacked experiences and familiarity with scientific practices thereby holding constrained perceptions of authentic scientific research and perceptions of inquiry.
Principal Author: Shannon L.. Dubois, Valparaiso UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer L.. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L.. Bell, Oregon State University
While there is growing understanding of science teacher professional development in the United States, little is known about the role of local, state, regional, or national conferences on teacher learning and development. This qualitative study investigated 70 beginning secondary science teachers’ learning experiences at a state science teachers’ conference. The data collected consisted of surveys, observations, interviews, and artifacts. Inductive analysis revealed the beginning teachers had positive learning experiences at the conference and found the conference to be beneficial to their growth as professional educators. This study suggests that science teacher educators should encourage and support teachers to attend conferences, which is a place where teachers can network and obtain new teaching approaches aligned with reform-based practices in science education.
Principal Author: Jessica F.. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia UniversiyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lisa Neesemann, Teachers College, Columbia University; Peter Hillman, Teachers College, Columbia University
Teacher education has been challenged by an increasing number of attacks and criticisms in local, national and global spheres. With the advent of national education reform, there is opportunity for highly engaged discussions on the impact of reform in several areas, such assessment in teacher education, teacher professional development, and student learning, and within specific content areas, such as science. Specifically, teacher education programs nationally are expected to implement edTPA™, formerly known as the Teacher Performance Assessment. One goal of edTPA is a measure of readiness to teach that informs program completion and licensure decisions. Although some researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners have critiqued edTPA and have not fully embraced this assessment system, we found it necessary to begin the process of implementation from the viewpoint of preparing our teacher candidates for this change in licensure requirements. The purpose of this session is to present findings of our experience in preparing for the implementation of edTPA in our secondary science education program since Spring 2013 across over 30 candidates. This session highlights approaches that we took to include edTPA in our institution and program, and to assist our teacher candidates undertaking the process. This interactive experiential session highlights two cases of a secondary science candidate’s edTPA™ portfolios. We wish to engage the ASTE community in a conversation about the components of the portfolio and specifically the artifacts and commentaries specific to Analyzing Scientific Data and the Nature of Science.
Principal Author: Brent Gilles, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gayle Buck, Indiana University
Secondary teachers are the most reluctant group of teachers to implement scientific argumentation in their classrooms (McNeill & Knight, 2013). This is most likely due to teachers’ orientation and their understanding of this teaching strategy. They often cite constraints such as time (McNeill & Knight, 2013; McDonald & Heck, 2012; Laius et al., 2009), curriculum (McNeill & Knight, 2013; Laius et al., 2009), student interpersonal dynamics (McDonald & Heck, 2012), and an activity for high ability students only (McNeill & Knight, 2013; Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). The purpose of this study was to investigate a biology teacher’s first attempts at implementing scientific argumentation in her classroom. The guiding research question was: How did the biology teacher’s pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of scientific argumentation evolve as a result of implementing an argumentation unit in her classroom? We took an instrumental case study approach to this study in order to document a teacher’s first attempt at incorporating argumentation into her classroom. Our findings suggest that teachers need help placing new concepts into their previous knowledge. This was especially important when our teacher tried to replace old vocabulary with new terminology. We also found that our teacher needed help in placing argumentation into her existing curriculum in order for change to occur in the classroom. The evidence collected here helps to inform professional development (PD) and methods course instructors in designing appropriate scientific argumentation activities. To best support PCK development, teacher training should be rooted within their existing beliefs because that is how teachers will choose their instructional strategies (Kind, 2009). A couple areas should be addressed. The first area is to ensure that teachers understand how to construct a scientific explanation and how the parts of that explanation fit with the teacher’s previous understandings. The second aspect is to help teachers identify lessons they are already familiar with to implement argumentation.
Principal Author: Mark H. Newton, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Many environmental educators advocate developing environmentally literate citizens with the awareness, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and willingness to participate in the resolution of contentious environmental issues. Unfortunately, many environmental education (EE) programs over emphasize science content and ignore the sociocutural influences on environmental issues. As an alternative approach, the socioscientific issues (SSI) framework addresses many of the issues in EE. The SSI framework offers a sociocultural approach, which considers the intersection of science, culture, and character. Students address content knowledge, nature of science, and reasoning while investigating contentious issues through discourse, research, and critical analysis of the problem.
The longitudinal study examines postsecondary students’ conceptualizations of contentious environmental issues (CEI) and their willingness to act to resolve these issues. A triangulated mixed-methods case study approach examined the association between participation in an experiential environmental education course embedded with socioscientific issues instruction and students’ conceptualization of CEI along with their willingness to act on these issues one year after completing the course. Results indicate students consider multiple perspectives, while using scientific information as one of many considerations when negotiating CEI. Additionally, students vary on their willingness to act or modify their behavior to help mitigate environmental issues. This investigation provides evidence that this type of course could act as a model for science courses as well as science teacher education courses that will develop productive citizens for the 21st century by including valuable perspectives beyond that of science.
Principal Author: Ranu Roy, Indiana University, BloomingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University, Bloomington
In the past few decades, with an emerging trend in global education, there have been a growing number of internationals in different disciplines of higher education seeking terminal degrees in the United States. Previous studies (McCalman, 2007) observed that complex factors contribute to the students’ perceptions of disciplines taught by an accented speaker and emotions affected evaluation of teachers’ competence and students’ comprehension. This study, of practitioner inquiry (Smith, 2003) examines the challenges an international, nonnative speaker of English faces during her first year of a doctoral program while teaching elementary science methods. More specifically, employing self-study methodology (LaBoskey, 2004) we investigate how Author 1’s perceived competency of her teaching compares to her students views of her competency for teaching the course. Data sources varied from a reflective teaching journal and field notes documented by Author 1; video of both Author 1’s classroom teaching and discussion sessions with three critical friends; written comments gathered at different points throughout the semester from Author 1’s students. Initial findings reveal Author 1’s dilemma in trying to establish her identity as a competent teacher educator due to the limited professional knowledge she had with understanding what this role entails. In addition, her experimentation with new classroom discussion strategies gave rise to new tensions she was not expecting. Lastly, although her students recognized her past experiences as a classroom science teacher as positive and appreciated her efforts with improving class discussions, they continued to view her competency as a teacher educator of science as low. Implications for supporting doctoral students, and especially international doctoral students, in developing their identity and competencies as a teacher educator will be discussed.
Principal Author: Cindy L. Kern, Quinnipiac UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amanda Bozack, University of New Haven; Rosemary Whelan, University of New Haven; Beth Markello, University of New Haven
The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represent a major shift for science educators. After decades of focus on factual memorization, this national movement represents a shift toward higher-order thinking—the application of knowledge, problem-solving, and reasoning with evidence. The NGSS identifies three big ideas for meaningful science instruction; the dimensions or “3 Ds” are: Core Disciplinary Ideas (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and the Crosscutting Concepts (CCC). NGSS implementation is new in many states resulting in limited opportunities for science teachers to learn how to engage in 3-D instruction in their own classrooms. In this study we focus on one aspect of science teaching prior to implementation NGSS-based professional development—teachers’ pre-existing, written descriptions of their science teaching methodology—with the intention of determining if and how teachers’ pre-existing descriptions align with 3-D instruction. Specifically, we ask: How are 3-D instructional practices represented in participants’ written teaching methodologies? Are differences in methodological descriptions distributed across our sample of beginning teachers, mentors, and administrators? Is there a relationship between methodological alignment to 3-D instruction and initial Science Teaching Efficacy Belief scores? We hypothesize that beginning teachers, who may have had exposure to the NGSS during their educator preparation programs, exhibit higher expression of 3-D instruction in their written narrative than do mentor teachers or administrators, but that their efficacy for science teaching is initially lower than the efficacy beliefs reported by mentor teachers.
Principal Author: Bryan Nichols, Florida Atlantic UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lori Dassa, Florida Atlantic University
Recent emphases on math and reading have seen a reduction of time spent on other subjects in elementary classrooms across the United States.This narrowing is largely due to standardized testing and data driven instruction focused specifically on math and reading scores. In early grades especially, many of us, and our colleagues in social studies, worry about how to teach our subjects meaningfully in the newly mandated dual-subject classrooms. One of the oft-proposed solutions is lessons that integrate science into reading and other subjects. However, many elementary teachers, both preservice and inservice, are ill-equipped to integrate subjects meaningfully, and teacher training programs themselves often contribute to this problem. Our department is in the midst of a significant overhaul of the elementary teacher preparation program, primarily designed to increase the level of content knowledge and confidence across science, math, social studies, and literacy. This restructuring required our often isolated faculty to work together towards common goals. Discussion amongst students and across faculty working groups has unveiled some critical challenges, disconnects, and potential improvements that other programs may also benefit benefit by addressing. The presentation will be led by a science methods professor and the professor in charge of the effective teaching practice courses. Using data from faculty committees and the concerns of new teachers and interns, it will provide practical ways for discipline-specific faculty to work together more effectively, teaching meaningful subject integration both explicitly and by example. Going beyond informational texts, STEM fads, and intersections of standards, they will highlight pedagogies including complimentary lessons across sections, and using theme and problem-based learning. Integration sounds good in theory, but meaningful integration, while possible in elementary grades, requires more collaboration from teacher educators, researchers, practicum leaders, and curriculum developers.
Principal Author: Nicole J. Glen, Bridgewater State UniversityAbstract:
This presentation will showcase themes found from analyzing the weekly reflections of science majors who worked at summer science education internships. The interns learned about working with young students and the teaching profession, and common themes resulted regardless of their intention to enter K-12 teaching afterward. The themes included that the interns learned the importance of helping students problem solve, that making personal connections with the students and meeting their personal needs led to more engaged students during the program, and that the interns began to notice effective teaching strategies, including strategies for teaching science, for organization and planning, and for working with diverse students. The data was analyzed from a symbolic interaction perspective using the sociocultural theory as a background for understanding the interns’ experiences. The study will contribute complimentary findings to the beginning literature about informal internship experiences and the participants’ reflections, but also add to it through an interrogation of the common themes that emerge from the science majors’ reflections, regardless of their intention to continue into K-12 teaching or the grade level they prefer to teach if continuing into teacher preparation. This is important because it can help understand what types of internships best promote reform-oriented science teaching and help build experiences that could recruit science majors to teaching.
Principal Author: Jan Nourollahi, Georgia State UniversityAbstract:
The purpose of this study of preservice and mentor science teachers’ interactions on their beliefs, professional identity, and teaching practices is to: 1) distinguish between what preservice and mentor teachers believe about science teaching based on research or prior experience, and their actual science teaching practices, and 2) determine how preservice and mentor teacher interactions help shape their beliefs and professional identity regarding science teaching and how this affects their teaching practices. The main research question is: How do the interactions between preservice science teachers and their mentor teachers affect their beliefs, professional identity, and science teaching practices? This question was explored through a situated learning lens utilizing a descriptive, single case study design. One-on-one interviews of the preservice and mentor teachers were conducted and analyzed for emerging themes on teacher beliefs and professional identity and specific categories of science teaching practices. Videotaped observations of preservice and mentor teachers while planning and discussing lessons were analyzed to determine meanings on science teaching practices that emerge through their interaction and subsequent discourse. Written artifacts, including lesson plans, mentor teacher feedback, and researcher field notes, were collected and analyzed to compare science teaching practices with the teachers’ espoused beliefs on science teaching and learning. The case study narrative that results from the written and verbal communication between the preservice and mentor teachers provides important insight into their relationship and the possible subsequent influences on science teaching practices. This may also have important implications for the future design of preservice teacher field experiences in science teacher education programs.
Principal Author: Janice Bell. Underwood, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia M.. Mensah, Teacher's College-Columbia University; Steven Myran, Old Dominion University
Due to the rising diversity in today’s schools, science teacher educators (STEs) suggest that K-12 teachers must be prepared to engage diverse students in science classrooms. However, in light of the increasing White-Black science achievement gap, it is unclear how STEs prepare preservice teachers to engage diverse students, and African Americans in particular. Thus, the purpose of this study was to find out how STEs prepare preservice teachers to engage African American students in K-12 science. Using culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) as a framework, this phenomenological case study explored beliefs about culturally relevant science teaching and the influence of reported beliefs and experiences related to race on STEs’ teaching practices. The findings indicated that STEs were more familiar with culturally responsive pedagogy (CResP) in the context of their post-secondary classrooms as opposed to CRP. Further, most of the participants described modeling conventional ways they prepare their preservice teachers to engage K-12 students, who represent all types of diversity, without singling out any specific strategies for race. Lastly, many of the STEs’ in this study reported formative experiences related to race and racism have impacted their teaching beliefs and practices. Accordingly, the findings of this study suggest STEs do not have a genuine understanding of the differences between CRP and CResP and by in large embrace CResP principles. Secondly, in regards to preparing preservice teachers to engage African American students in science, the participants in this study seemed to articulate the need for ideological change, but were unable to demonstrate pedagogical changes to address the needs of Black students in science classrooms (Rodriguez, 1998). Thirdly, the findings suggested the participants in the study generally reported that their early experiences related to race shaped their beliefs about race and their teaching beliefs and practices in science education.
Principal Author: Soleil H. Roper, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
Mixed methods research was used to understand the scientific oral language of students and teachers in a bilingual classroom. After mixing qualitative and quantitative data findings indicate that students’ performance in oral language proficiency assessments is not associated with their scientific oral discourse. Developing oral scientific discourse in lower elementary bilingual grade levels can enhance high levels of scientific discourse in writing and reading in upper bilingual elementary grades. Therefore, facilitating classroom discourse to support students’ ownership of academic language is critical for developing academic language and content understanding (Zwiers & Crawford, 2011). Since oral language skills provide the foundation for the development of more advanced language skills needed for comprehension, it is fundamental that students are able to understand informational and expository text structures through listening comprehension before they start to emphasize on reading comprehension in any content area (Crawford-Brook, 2013). Consequently, the researcher believes that promoting academic classroom scientific discourse in K-2 bilingual classrooms will benefit students as they advance into upper elementary grades.
First, examining bilingual students’ conversations utilizing scientific language from Kinder to 2nd grades will give information to teachers about their oral proficiency in English as it is related to the understating of science concepts. Second, the analysis of students’ oral proficiency as provided by TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System) and IPT (Idea Proficiency Test) and compared to what students do in the classroom can provide more authentic information about actual students’ oral proficiency. Third, information about teachers’ questioning strategies to promote oral science discourse in the classroom also will be analyzed. Finally, results can be shared with district personnel and administrators to plan for further staff development and more authentic oral proficiency assessments.
Principal Author: Narmin S. Ghalichi, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michele Koomen, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Jonathan Andicoechea, University of Minnesota; Sarah Weaver, University of Minnesota
The ultimate goal of this experiential session is to present our research team’s development and pilot testing of rubrics that will assess students’ scientific practices and scientific explanations as they engage in independent research projects. The development of these rubrics grew from the work of our team in professional development related to citizen science, initiative designed to stimulate opportunities of scientific explanation/argumentation and to explore the nature of higher quality instructional practices. The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education ascribes a central role to students’ engagement in the scientific practices, especially the higher sense making practices of developing explanations in science (Berland et al., 2015; NRC, 2012). However, fulfilling the educational reform of this scale requires new tools of assessing student ability to engage scientific practices and scientific explanations. This challenge is compounded by the conflicting definitions of scientific inquiry, scientific practices and perceived need for distinction between scientific explanations in science and argumentation (Berland & McNeill, 2012; Osborne & Patterson, 2011). The conflation of the terminology is compounded by the fact that majority of the research focuses on written explanations provided by science students (McNeill, Lizotte, Krajcik & Marx, 2006). Our work on rubric development takes up both the challenge of defining explanations in science and developing an assessment tool to evaluate students’ oral explanation/argumentation. The main goal with this experiential session is for our audience to offer suggestions and feedback on the reliability, validity, and scope of assessment of our explanation rubrics. The implications of our work present particular interest to curriculum designers, teacher educators and teachers in developing more sophisticated tool of evaluating argumentation skills.
Principal Author: David M.. Sparks, University of Texas at ArlingtonAbstract:
As a Faculty Fellow with the UTA Center for Service Learning, a visiting assistant professor of science education developed a service learning component, which was added to a pre-service teacher preparation course. The purpose of the addition of service learning into the course was to help pre-service teachers to understand the importance of service learning to Project-Based Learning. The service learning component of the course was conducted at a local nature center, the River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington, Texas. The center conducts environmental education programs and focuses on the Trinity River Watershed and the facilities owned by the River Legacy Foundation. They maintain a total of 1300 acres of parks and nature habitats in North Arlington and the Dallas area along the Trinity River.
The course is a senior-level course offered to students in the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Arlington. The program, originally started at the University of Texas at Austin, uses a unique model to train and prepare secondary mathematics and science teachers in the DFW area. The course includes a field experience component in which students build an inquiry-based lesson and teach it at a local high school. For the second half of the course, students design a Project Based Learning unit in their content area. During the testing of the service learning components, the students filled out a pre-test, post-test, and five reflections. As well, a few of the students conducted Skype interviews describing what they learned from the experience. Overall, students enjoyed the service learning experience and felt that it enhanced their knowledge of, and ability to develop, Project-Based Learning units. The results were analyzed and sent for review in a science education journal in 2015.
Principal Author: Lisa Neesemann, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jessica Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University
As teacher educators it is our job to give our preservice teachers the best preparation we can for the field into which they are entering Giving preservice teachers an opportunity for a support network during their training will enable them to feel more resilient, confident, supported (both academically and emotionally) and ultimately lead to better performance when they enter the field. “Just as students need the support of fellow learners, teachers need a supportive community of colleagues… and this interaction should begin before the beginning teacher’s first entrance into the school” (Boreen & Niday 2000, p. 153). By explicitly teaching preservice teachers both how to be a mentor to a peer and also how to receive support from a peer, these teachers will not only be better prepared during their preservice training but also during their first few, and arguably hardest, years in the field. During the past two academic semesters I have implemented a pilot program of peer mentoring with preservice teachers. Students have shown a higher level of motivation for their work, they have been more likely to turn work in on time, they have commented about both the academic support as well as emotional support garnered from their peers and perhaps most importantly, they have spoken about their peers ability to get through to them and force introspection and self analysis at a level beyond what was happening in the traditional classroom. Because the mentor dyad was made up of two equally positioned members, the communication was more open and less judgemental than the peers expected. Through journals and informal interviews with these students, I have seen the benefits of the peer mentoring process as well as the need for explicit instructions regarding this mentoring process. The goal of this presentation is to discuss best practices of peer mentoring and to share those practices with other teacher educators in hopes that they will follow this model and allow their preservice teachers this opportunity for support and growth.
Principal Author: Yvonne Franco, University of South FloridaAbstract:
This study communicates science teacher educator insights obtained using teacher inquiry to explore the role of the field supervisor in cultivating reflective elementary science preservice teachers (PSTs), developing skills of inquiry-based instruction in final internship field placements. It is grounded in both science and teacher education to respond to the challenge that despite nationwide efforts encouraging inquiry-based teaching, many elementary science teachers remain challenged to practice science as inquiry with students (Lebak & Tinsley, 2010; Meyer, Meyer, Nabb, Connell & Avery, 2011; US Department of Education, 2000). Central to the area of scholarship was the relationship between teacher educator practices and PST learning. While Bryan and Abell (1999) argue that “reflective experience” (p.136) is “the heart of knowing how to teach” (p.121), Gunstone, Slattery, Baird and Northfield (1993) assert that PSTs only embrace reflexivity when teacher educators model underlying principles and use continuously in practice. Thus, science teacher educators must be reflective practitioners, understanding and employing inquiry and reflective practice, and capable of defining their role as they support PSTs’ throughout development. The next facet of learning evolved from the literature on teacher education and a desire to contribute to knowledge of researched pedagogical practices used by teacher educators to develop “scientifically and pedagogically capable” teachers (Russell & Martin, 2007, pp.1172). In this study, the teacher educator’s use of teacher inquiry parallels PSTs’ investigation into their practice. A qualitative design for data collection is used, as well as principles of grounded theory for analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Findings reveal insights regarding the supervisor’s role for: leveling the learning field, empowering the learner to own evaluation instruments and derived learning, collaboratively assessing/filling cracks in the pedagogical learning foundation, and promoting synergistic commitment to learning using teacher inquiry.
Principal Author: Julie Luft, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bo Isardi, University of Georgia; Mustafa Erol, Bozok University; Paula Lemons, University of Georgia
The need to increase the number of students who are engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is pressing. This need is based in the historical presence that United States (U.S.) has held in STEM (PCAST, 2012), which has resulted in several discoveries and innovations that have improved our quality of life. This need is also based in the scientific and technological orientation of the U.S., which necessitates that citizens improve their knowledge of common and emerging scientific and technological problems.
In higher education, enrollment in STEM fields has stayed consistent over the years, but increased in the number of participating women and minorities. One way to attract more students to STEM careers (including education) is to enhance the learning experience of students in introductory STEM courses. Active learning techniques are one way to improve undergraduate learning, especially for women and minorities, groups traditionally underrepresented in science (National Research Council, 2014).
This poster presentation reports on two different approaches that were taken by faculty at one university to encourage STEM faculty to engage in active learning. One approach pertained to a speaker series that also had supporting materials. One of the important documents was a booklet that provided basic information about active learning. The other approach was the creation of a SEER Center, which had different mechanisms to support faculty in their use of active learning. These mechanisms included different types of meetings to learn about research and teaching, and opportunities to work with people who are experienced in active learning.
This poster contributes to the national discussion about improving STEM instruction, and it suggests different ways that science educators can participate in the improvement of STEM instruction.
Principal Author: David Wojnowski, Georgia State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christy Visaggi, Georgia State University
Students in the Early Childhood and Elementary Education program at Georgia State University are required to complete integrated science courses for conceptual understanding across biology and geology (ISCI 2001) and chemistry and physics (ISCI 2002). The first course in the sequence has been collaboratively taught by faculty from the Department of Geosciences and the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education with an interdisciplinary approach for the last four years. The purpose of this course, set forth by the University System of Georgia, is to provide a fundamental understanding of concepts in Earth and life sciences using an inquiry-based approach. Since 2011, both the curriculum sequence and instructional model have been modified at our institution from a traditional lecture lab course to an integrated content course that emphasizes small groups in-class activities. Class periods are used primarily or active learning with limited lecture introduction. Follow-up discussions and homework are utilized for reinforcing concepts that are embedded in exploratory hands-on learning in class. Topics covered in ISCI 2001 include the solar system, climate and weather, cells and biochemistry, classification schemes, plate boundaries, rock cycle, weathering, succession, energy and food webs, biomes, reproduction, genetics, deep time, and foundations for evolution. The sequence of concepts is designed to foster the development of connections between the life and earth sciences. End of semester subjects such as earth history, complexity of life, and habitats in Georgia allow for an integration of all previous material that enhances content understanding using an Earth System approach. Techniques derived out of collaborative planning and instruction offer students an opportunity to learn content in a pedagogical framework that serves as a model for best practices for their future work in elementary classrooms. In-class surveys have been used to measure responses of students to the pedagogy.
Principal Author: Linda Plevyak, University of CincinnatiAbstract:
This presentation will discuss STEM literacy and 21st century competencies, highlight effective approaches in teaching STEM, which evolved from the National Academy of Sciences report on STEM integration (2014), discuss the use of PBL and how it can be used in a STEM classroom and share examples of STEM lessons that were developed using the three stages of the Backward Design model (McTighe & Wiggins, 2013).
One of the challenges for K-12 STEM teachers is identifying quality goals and planning for deep student understanding. Using the Backward Design model, teachers articulate the desired results first, and then develop an assessment strategy that identifies what the students have learned. Lastly, the teacher plans activities that promote understanding and application of learning to new situations. At the conclusion of the presentation, handouts of STEM lessons will be given to audience members.
Principal Author: Hallie S.. Edgerly, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake University; Jaclyn Easter, Drake University
The nature of science (NOS) receives little attention in the K-12 classroom (Capps & Crawford, 2013). The nature of technology (NOT) likely receives even less attention. Indeed, almost no research has been done addressing the NOT in secondary or post-secondary education. To address the lack of NOT aspects taught in science classrooms, we structured a collegiate course for preservice (PSTs) teachers to effectively teach NOT aspects, as well as methods of how to teach NOT aspects including: development and adoption of technologies, limitations, trade-offs, and bias of technologies, as well as how technology and society interact. For this study, we focused on changes in preservice teachers’ (PST) view of NOT pedogogical (NOTP) views. To study these PST’s views of NOTP, a written response survey was given at the beginning of the course, as well as at the completion. We asked the PSTs to consider what they think should be taught about technology in their K-12 science classroom, as well as a rationale for teaching these aspects, and what their instructional strategies will be for teaching NOT.
After analyzing the written responses, as well as individual interviews to validate written responses, we found the majority of PSTs shifted their thinking to holding the beliefs away from thinking students should simply know how to use technology toward beliefs that students should learn to be critical users of technology and that students should understand aspects of the NOT. The PSTs also improved their views of NOTP. By the end of the course, PSTs recognized the importance of including explicit/reflective, decontextualized/contextualized, and distal/proximal frameworks and strategies.
Principal Author: Jaclyn M.. Easter, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake University; Colin Seebach, Drake University; Hallie S.. Edgerly, Drake University; Neal Patel, Drake University
An understanding of nature of science (NOS) can result in many benefits such as improved decision-making regarding socioscientific issues (Khishfe, 2012), increased scientific literacy (Holbrook & Rannikmae, 2007), and an increase of interest in science (Lederman, 1999; Meyling, 1997). Additionally, much is known regarding how NOS should be taught (e.g. Aydin, Demirdöğen, Muslu, & Hanuscin, 2013; Clough, 2006; Khishfe & Abd‐El‐Khalick, 2002). Yet, the inclusion of NOS in K-12 science classrooms continues to be rare (Capps & Crawford, 2013).
To better understand how teachers come to value and teach NOS, the present study explored how preservice teachers’ (PSTs) thinking related to NOSP changed during a course targeting NOS instruction. PSTs completed a pre- and post-survey and responded to the following: (1) what students should learn about NOS, (2) rationales for these learning outcomes, and (3) how best to teach NOS ideas to students. Through systematic analysis, themes were generated and compared to the NOS instructional literature. Participants were also asked to complete lesson modifications to understand how their views translated into instructional decision-making. Results demonstrate the course helped align PSTs’ NOSP views to be more consistent with science education literature.
By understanding how preservice teachers’ NOSP knowledge changes during a NOS course, science educators can better account for conceptual hurdles as they work to help teachers learn how to teach NOS. This makes clear that teachers can develop and apply strong NOSP knowledge, but raises important questions about the extent to which that knowledge is maintained and applied after time has passed.
Principal Author: Jessica F.. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia M.. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University; Lisa Neesemann, Teachers College, Columbia University
Teacher education programs have two primary objectives; to prepare preservice teachers for jobs as teachers and also to prepare doctoral students to become teacher educators. The goals of this study were to examine the doctoral students preparation for their careers as teacher educators as well as to examine the effectiveness and best practices of our program in cultivating the qualities of these educators. Specifically, we are interested in which courses and experiences are highlights for our future teacher educators, exploring the implications of ever changing policies and ultimately to create a lasting mentorship program to support our teacher educators as they enter into careers. In order to answer these questions, we surveyed graduates from 2003-2014 for basic demographic information as well as details on current job positions, responsibilities and support. Open-ended questions gave these respondents a chance to discuss their preparation, experiences and recommendations for future doctoral students. Specific respondents were then interviewed and more in-depth information was collected regarding the context of their responses and insights into their preparation. Finally, a mentoring forum was created in order to pair science teacher educators with current doctoral students to develop connections, foster a collegiate atmosphere and ease the entry into the community of practice.
Principal Author: James Minogue, NC State UniversityAbstract:
This study of pre-service elementary teachers (N = 48) categorized the relationship between descriptions and explanations of the sinking/floating phenomena. It borrowed Driver and colleagues’ (1996) framework that describes distinct epistemological explanations and representations: phenomenon-based, relation-based, and modelling. Results showed that nearly 40% used phenomena-based explanations that over relied on the conspicuous observable aspects and made no distinction between description and explanation. Another 50% of the sample constructed relation-based explanations in the form of empirical generalizations and/or linear causal reasoning with two variables often failing to consider all the variables involved. These responses, like those in the first category, lacked any real attention to an underlying mechanism(s) needed to explain the observed phenomena. Only 10% of the teachers demonstrated modelling based reasoning where an underlying mechanism was suggested and language (e.g. particles and upthrust) to represent invisible entities was used. Description and explanation were clearly distinct but all in this category were only partial models. Only one included the notion of balanced and unbalanced forces. The categorization of pre-service teachers’ illustrations showed that 22.9% did not include any force arrows. Many (24.3%) only included upward arrows and 13.5% incorporated only down arrows. Twenty-three (62.2%) did use opposite and opposing arrows. Only 17 (35.4%) teachers used annotations to accompany their illustrations. These findings suggest that a full understanding of the mechanisms underlying sinking and floating (buoyancy) remains a challenge for many soon to be elementary school teachers. Foundational concepts like ‘forces in action’ (Heywood & Parker, 2001) may remain hidden to students if they are not surfaced by a knowledgeable teacher but this study revealed that many pre-service teachers may not draw upon these ideas intuitively and explicit instruction by science teacher educators is warranted.
Principal Author: Jessica Wayson, University of Northern IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sarah B. Boesdorfer, Illinois State University; Dawn Del Carlo, University of Northern Iowa
Research experiences are a part of many teacher education and professional development programs. There are different types of research experiences including action research and authentic science research and these experiences occur as professional development, graduate programs, or as part of pre-service education. While these different types of learning experiences have been studied previously, they have not been studied together and compared in terms of their impact of science teachers’ classroom practices and beliefs about teaching. This presentation will present the findings from a national online survey of secondary science teachers (N=474) about their research experiences, teaching practices, beliefs, and use of student data. The survey included open-ended as well as multiple choice type questions. Results of the survey indicate that science teachers with research experience, whether educational research or scientific research, have different practices and beliefs than those without research experience. Additionally, the differences in these populations is larger when novice teachers (≤5 years teaching) are examined. Finally, differences in teaching practices, beliefs, and use of student data emerged when teachers with educational research experience were compared to teachers with scientific research experience. Implications of the use of research experience in teacher education will be discussed.
Principal Author: Craig Berg, The University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Raymond Scolavino, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Michael Clough, Iowa State University
Feedback on teaching, or observation and self-reflection via video-tape are essential component of the teaching improvement process, in classroom settings or in virtual environments. The act of teaching is complex, with many teacher and student actions/responses occurring in a short amount of time. To assist with data collection during observations of lessons, we have developed an iPad application for the purpose of collecting objective, valid, and reliable data to be used by an observer to help a teacher improve his or her teaching practice. This application consists of four components – pre-observation data, data gathered during the observation of a lesson, post-observation data, and data analysis and reporting. We will share how it is used, then discuss and show the kinds of data analysis that can be performed, such as raw counts/percentages of events during a lesson (e.g., types of questions asked, wait-time, teaching strategies utilized, student participation and engagement).
Principal Author: Dana L.. Zeidler, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sami Kahn, University of South Florida; Michael P. Clough, Iowa State University; Joanne K. Olson, Iowa State University; Benjamin C. Herman, University of Missouri - Columbia; Mark Newton, University of South Florida; Troy D. Sadler, University of Missouri - Columbia
We are facing a plethora of educational mandates, trends and policies in science teacher education. Such issues are intricately connected with one another, and can be thought to be the result of STEM-related initiatives. This paper set examines key deleterious issues that have emerged unchecked, and seemingly embraced unwittingly, by the greater science education community and the public at-large. For example, the science education community has been largely remiss in its uncritical adoration of engineering and the inclusion of engineering concepts and practices in the science curriculum. Overemphasizing job preparation as the primary purpose for schooling and science education and marginalizing science content are among the factors considered by the first paper, which advocates for a more thoughtful and scholarly effort to ensure students receive the best possible science education. The second paper suggests that many view technological literacy as a neutral construct. However, the economic interest of businesses and industries helps to maintain power inequities and largely defines technological literacy, including media literacy. Examples of how we encouraged critical media analysis in a field based experiential environmental education course to encourage higher levels of epistemological engagement of contentious environmental issues in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is also presented. The third paper posits that it is possible to conduct a type of educative experience where emphasis is placed on rational discourse, logical reasoning, calculative and analytic skills while overlooking where compassion, feelings, reflexive reasoning, perspective-taking (expressed in its ideal form as empathy) and conscience is overlooked or understated. Hence, moral agency requires more than just thinking morally; it also involves agency, which implies a duty to act virtuously with consideration of others. The necessity of a sociocultural approach advanced through socioscientific issues for science teacher education is argued.
Principal Author: Renee M. Clary, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University; Kimberly Carroll, Mississippi State University; Kenneth Anthony, Mississippi State University
An environmental non-government organization (E-NGO) facilitates immersive professional development (PD) for both preservice and in-service teachers, in programs of short duration (2-5 days). The E-NGO’s objectives within informal, field-based, inquiry learning programs are 1) build appreciation for nature, 2) deliver science content, and 3) develop participants’ understanding and ability to implement effective teaching practices. We researched 3 programs that targeted 1) in-service teachers in a 2-day program (N= 43); 2) in-service teachers in a 5-day program (N = 23); and 3) preservice teachers in a 5 day program (N = 7 for analysis). Data collection techniques involved pre-/post-surveys, reflective essays, and facilitators’ notebooks. Analyses were customized to specifically probe each program’s outcomes.
All 3 PD experiences resulted in positive gains in teachers’ perceptions for teaching science as inquiry, and incorporating natural outdoor environments within instruction. Participants acknowledged that inquiry engages and motivates students, and natural environments facilitate interdisciplinary instruction, for “big picture” understanding. In-service teachers’ initial perceived barriers—such as time requirements, specialized equipment, and appropriate local environments—were overturned through the experiences. By the end of the PD program, participating teachers perceived that scientific inquiry within outdoor environments was possible and desirable in their science courses. The motivation recorded by participating teachers suggests that the enthusiasm will affect K-12 classrooms. Future research investigations should determine whether perception changes endure, and impact participants’ classrooms. Additional research is also needed to probe teachers’ changes in environmental content knowledge.
This research underscores the impact and innovation of short, immersive environmental experiences. We propose that university faculty and staff should consider restructuring PD and outreach programs to include short immersive experiences.
Principal Author: Kerry O. Cresawn, James Madison University Department of BiologyAbstract:
As the benefits of service learning emerge and as higher education institutions are calling for more engagement, there is a growing interest among science faculty to engage in K-12 outreach. In addition to the time required to develop these programs, other obstacles for science faculty include lack of experience with younger and more diverse audiences and hesitation of teachers to invite those without experience into their classroom leading to a difficulty forming mutually respected partnerships. “Biology Backpacks” is a K-5 traveling science outreach program designed to address these challenges. To address the challenges of the cognitive and demographic gap, which scientists are not prepared for and the concern by teachers of devoting instruction time to outreach, this program incorporates a future teacher/future scientists partnership designed to develop mutual respect, skills for, and an interest in pursuing successful outreach relationships as science professionals and teachers. In addition, the enrichment experiences use inquiry, differentiation, and other best practices to teach the life science foundations on which student performance is measured. This makes the enrichment experience accessible to all students and serves as a practical model for teachers to follow. In the first year of this program, we visited 62 classes vetting each of the 5 activities with 2-4 different grade levels. We will present findings from year one, which was designed to determine the best activity and pedagogical approach for each grade level and demographic population, observe the future teacher/scientist teams to inform structuring and evaluation of this model and establish a partnership with one of the schools for a more focused and measurable program in year 2. We aim for evaluation of year 2 to be used to create a “biologist in the classroom guide” to encourage more science faculty to pursue outreach, contribute to the growing literature on evidence of informal science education efficacy, and serve as a model for better preparing the next generation of outreach partners.
Principal Author: Sami Kahn, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dana L.. Zeidler, University of South Florida
Functional scientific literacy demands students’ abilities to reason through controversial socioscientific issues (SSI) facilitated by the engagement of socioscientific reasoning (SSR). SSR requires, among other things, consideration of multiple perspectives in order to foster understanding of diverse viewpoints which in turn mediates argumentation, empathy, and moral development. Socioscientific perspective taking (SSPT) refers to the activities associated with perspective taking specifically within the socioscientific context and requires: 1) engagement with others and their circumstances; 2) an etic/emic shift; and 3) the presence of a moral context comprised of reflective and reflexive judgment. SSPT, therefore, must be modeled and promoted by science educators wishing to implement SSI curriculum and advance effective sociocultural teaching. This paper presents a theoretical inquiry which compares the SSPT construct to a series of extensively researched curricular frameworks that promote perspective taking in three non-science disciplines including historical empathy (social studies education), method acting (theater arts education), and autism interventions (special education). Non-science rather than science frameworks are utilized as perspective taking, a relatively untapped construct within science education, has been extensively studied in many other disciplines due to its primacy in human communication and socialization. The result of this analysis is a series of promising interventions for fostering SSPT as well as an assessment of the feasibility of each of the frameworks as potential sources for novel and expansive work in SSI. Implications for science teacher educators’ extended use of these pedagogies, as well as opportunities for further research in this area, will be discussed.
Principal Author: Jared R. Allen, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University
Doctoral programs for science teacher educators typically assume that their graduate students will be prepared and ready to become professional knowledge for teaching as soon as they graduate. However, due to so much going in in the world of academia many doctoral students find it difficult to define, identify, and evolve their practice as future teacher educators. Very few studies have looked at the development of novice science teacher educators, let alone novice science field instructors. Using a self-study approached accompanied with a community of practice, we looked analyzed the role of an early field experience instructor through the eyes of a novice science teacher educator. Our findings show that some tensions exist in the development of novice science teacher educators particularly in the identity and the defining of the role of an elementary early field experience instructor. However, we have also found that through implementing a self-study that was accompanied by a community of practice, one of the tensions was recognized and addressed within the self-study. This process allowed for the novice teacher to gain insight into their practice and further define their identity as a science teacher educator and an early field experience instructor. Implications for how graduate teacher education programs could better support the development of their novice science teacher educators will be discussed.
Principal Author: Yael Wyner, City College of New York, City University of New YorkAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer Doherty, University of Washington
Noticing local trees and contextualizing them in their evolutionary history is a life science content area that is lacking for elementary school teachers. Developing these skills is a key approach for bringing the practices, cross cutting concepts, and life science disciplinary core ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards into elementary school classrooms. This presentation describes the impact of an introductory life science course on pre-service elementary school teachers. The course goals were 1) To transition participants from being everyday observers of biodiversity to acting as scientific observers 2) For participants to use their newfound practices to frame the trees they see daily in the patterns of evolutionary history. Findings show that exposure to local trees through coursework improves pre-service teachers ability to observe trees scientifically, providing them with the tools to identify and group trees by relatedness and for helping them understand the evolutionary meaning of relatedness. The inability of pre-service teachers to identify even basic differences between trees prior to this course demonstrates the need for developing scientific biodiversity observation skills and an understanding of evolutionary history in pre-service elementary school teachers. Pre-service teacher responses indicate that coursework exposure to trees is enough to help them notice, and care about noticing, the trees they see daily.
Principal Author: Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennie L. Chiu, University of Virginia; Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L. Bell, Oregon State University
Research reveals teaching assistants (TAs) play an important role in the quality of undergraduate education. However, little research examines TA preparation for teaching inquiry-based labs or potential differences between undergraduate (UTAs) and graduate TAs (GTAs). This study fills this gap in the literature by answering the following research questions: 1) In what ways, if any, do TAs’ content knowledge, beliefs about teaching, and teaching confidence change as a result of TA PD? 2) How, if at all, do these characteristics differ based upon prior experience, gender, and UTA/GTA status?
Participants in this mixed-methods study included 5 UTAs and 14 GTAs teaching an inquiry-based general chemistry laboratory course. PD supported TAs to lead inquiry labs, involving a week-long workshop and 14 weekly follow-up meetings. Data sources included TA surveys and interviews.
Results revealed that TAs’ content knowledge significantly improved from pre- to post-PD and continued to improve over the semester. No significant changes were found for confidence or beliefs pre to post-PD or by the end of the semester. No significant differences existed between UTAs and GTAs or between male and female content at any of the time points. Correlation analysis revealed that TAs with more student-centered beliefs were more confident and TAs with more research experience had more teacher-centered beliefs. Interviews revealed that participants holding more traditional or reform-based beliefs were more resistant to change, and suggest participants’ experiences were interpreted in ways that confirmed their beliefs.
Results suggest that PD can improve TAs’ content knowledge and research experience may have a strong influence on TAs beliefs. This study contributes to the small body of literature that focuses on PD for TAs. Our study suggests UTAs can be used to staff increasing student enrollment at large universities and that prior experiences of TAs are important factors to consider, along with the larger context of research, when developing and implementing PD for TAs.
Principal Author: Ryan S.. Nixon, Brigham Young UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard J.. Ross, University of Georgia; Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia
Teacher quality is a concern worldwide. One of the factors that contributes to decreased teacher quality is teachers being assigned to subjects for which they have not been prepared, known as out-of-field teaching. OOF teaching is especially common in science education, schools with disadvantaged students, and new teachers. This study explores the prevalence and predictors of out-of-field teaching among new science teachers by following 137 teachers across their first five years in the classroom. First, it sought to understand how common out-of-field teaching was among this sample of new science teachers. Results indicated that out-of-field teaching was very common, with teachers being assigned out-of-field 64.3% of the time. Second, an ordinal logistic regression analysis suggested that the prevalence of out-of-field teaching did not systematically increase or decrease as teachers gained experience in the classroom. Third, a comparison of ordinal logistic regression models indicates that out-of-field teaching is best predicted by the portion of ELL students in the school, location of the school, level of the school, and certification status of the teacher. Teachers that teach in school with high portions of ELL students, urban schools, or middle schools are more likely to be assigned to teach out-of-field, while teachers who are not certified are more likely to teach in their field of specialty. These predictive variables include characteristics of the students, the school, and the teacher, suggesting that out-of-field assignment is a complex issue that involves the needs of multiple parties. Understanding this prevalence and predictors suggests that teacher educators need to prepare prospective teachers for the challenges of out-of-field teaching.
Principal Author: Younkyeong Nam, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Seoung-Hey Paik, Korea National University of Education; Sun-Ju Lee, Korea National University of Education
This study investigated how engineering integrated science (EIS) curricula affect first-year technology high school students’ attitudes toward science and perceptions of engineering. The effect of the EIS participation period on students’ attitudes toward science was also investigated by experimental study design. Two engineering integrated science curricula (10 and 18 weeks) were purposefully designed and implemented for the study.
A total of 420 first year technical high school students (from 16 classes) participated in the first EIS curriculum. The first EIS curriculum was implemented in chemistry classes for ten weeks (1 hour class time per week) during the Spring 2014 semester. To compare the short term (10 weeks during the first semester) and long term (18 weeks for two consecutive semesters) impact of the EIS curricula, we randomly divided the total students into two groups after the first EIS curriculum implementation. One group of students (control group, N=184) participated in regular science lessons without engineering integration, and the other group of students (N=190) participated in a second EIS curriculum during the Fall 2014 semester.
The data came from three main sources: 1) a science attitude survey (SAS) instrument, 2) an engineering perception survey (EPS), and 3) semi-structured focus group interviews and four open-ended questions after the first curriculum implementation. Two important results emerged: (1) The EIS curriculum participation period (10 or 18 weeks) mattered for changing students’ attitudes toward science and (2) A majority (>61 %) of the students from both control and experimental groups who participated in the first EIS agreed that the curriculum positively affected their understanding of engineering practice. The results suggest that EIS is a potential pedagogical approach for reforming current science practice in technical high school programs to improve both students’ interest in science and career readiness. Implications for implementing EIS in technical high school settings are addressed.
Principal Author: Glenn R.. Dolphin, University of CalgaryAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wendy L.. Benoit, University of Calgary; Jessica Burylo, University of Calgary; Emily Hurst, University of Calgary; Simon Wiebe, University of Calgary
In response to calls to enhance geoscience education and science literacy, we have developed four historical case studies addressing different geoscience concepts and aspects of the nature of science. The cases were structured by essentially “braiding” separate strands of historical narrative, inquiry, and model-based learning. The cases include the US seismology in the early 20th century, the “de-mythologization” of Alfred Wegener, the great Devonian controversy, and the radium dial painter tragedy. Through inquiry activities the cases address earthquake mechanics, isostacy, biostratigraphy, and radioactivity. The narratives also emphasize the role of past experiences, and the influence of social class, political affiliation, and economic status, on scientific progress.
We piloted the four cases in several different post secondary introductory science classes and a history of medicine class; from 12 students to 350. Most of the courses utilized one or two of the cases. One of the courses, an introductory physical science course for education majors, utilized all four of them. Through a short questionnaire and student work, we collected data on students’ ideas about the nature of science and on content development as a way to understand the efficacy of the cases. Analysis of these preliminary data show that prior to the cases, students considered science to be like cooking or baking, following a set of directions; the scientific method, in which you end up with a certain “proven” truth. If they were in a lab, or wearing or working with equipment that they considered “scientific”, then that was science. When answering the same questions at the end of the course, we found students much less objectivist. They placed much more emphasis on measuring the natural world. They described science in terms of being “reliable” and that it allowed for multiple perspectives. We will develop four or five new cases in the coming year and test the first ones more rigorously. We hope that others will show interest in implementing these cases and can give us further feedback.
Principal Author: Joseph Shane, Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jodi Peterson, National Science Teachers Association; Ian Binns, University of North Carolina Charlotte
This session is sponsored by the ASTE Forum on Policy and Government Relations and includes Jodi Peterson, Assistant Executive Director of Communication, Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). A brief history of the Forum will be provided, but the main purposes will be (1) to provide general guidelines for communicating with federal and state legislators and policymakers, (2) to identify current national and state policies related to science teacher education, (3) to describe how ASTE coordinates with other professional organizations, (4) to recruit additional Forum members, and (5) to set specific goals for the upcoming year. The session is intended to provide “how to” lessons on being an advocate for policies of interest to ASTE as well as an annual “state of science teacher education” update from the Forum and NSTA. All members are encouraged to attend to share their interests and experiences with political advocacy efforts.
Principal Author: Philip I. Myszkal, University of TorontoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Isha DeCoito, University of Western Ontario
In this rapidly changing and technologically evolving world there is a need for skilled labour and professionals in STEM fields. There is concern regarding the competitiveness of both Canada and the United States in the global economy, as the number of individuals graduating from and/or pursuing careers in STEM fields is seriously lagging in comparison to other countries. Students must be inspired, engaged, and have deep understandings of STEM content and their applications if they are to consider future studies and/or jobs in STEM fields. Integrative, inquiry-based STEM education has been considered an effective approach for encouraging students in science and math. This type of STEM education focuses on elements such as hands on, collaborative problem solving; while foregoing more traditional ‘top-down’ instructional methods. Elementary science and mathematics teachers are underprepared for these demands, which is subsequently reflected in their lack of comfort in implementing pedagogical approaches and teaching STEM content. Teacher self-efficacy and beliefs about their abilities also impact what and how they teach. This paper highlights data collected as part of a larger mixed-methods longitudinal study on the impact of outreach STEM workshops on teachers’ attitudes towards and interest in STEM education. Data sources included T-STEM surveys and interviews. Preliminary findings suggest that while grades 7 and 8 teachers possess confidence and heightened beliefs in their abilities to teach science and math, interactive hands-on learning only occurred ‘about half the time’ in their classrooms. Although participants agreed with the goals of STEM education, as well as expressed confidence in their ability to execute them, there is disconnect between beliefs and implementation in practice. This study has profound educational significance, especially areas related to teacher professional development, teacher education, and STEM partnerships in terms of providing opportunities for teachers to engage in initiatives focusing on best practices in STEM education.
Principal Author: Sandra L. Yarema, Wayne State UniversityAbstract:
This case study investigated how context variables influenced the impact of a state-funded longitudinal professional development (PD) program on the participant teachers’ practice. Data was collected to compare differences in Science Content Knowledge, Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and the teachers’ practice over the course of the PD program. Contextual variables related to district restructuring and school implementation of district policy evidence a direct effect on time spent on science instruction, specific instructional strategies used, and on the development of a professional community among the participants. This case study substantiates the implication that districts and school policies must provide adequate support for teachers to implement what is learned in professional development to enact any effective science education reform at the elementary school level.
Principal Author: Sarah J. Carrier, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margareta Thomson, NCSU; Ashley Whitehead, NCSU; Sarah R. Luginbuhl, NCSU
This qualitative study investigated the contributions of pre-service teachers’ memories of science and science education along with their experiences in a STEM focused teacher preparation program to their developing identities as elementary school teachers of science. Data collected over three years include a series of interviews and observations of science teaching during elementary teacher preparation and into the first year of teaching. Grounded within a theoretical framework of identity we examine experiences that contribute to case studies’ developing identities as teachers of science. Data analysis revealed key themes: memories of science and science instruction, views of effective science teaching, science methods coursework, field experiences, identity trajectories, and reform-based science teaching. Findings are summarized in main assertions and discussed along with implications for teacher preparation and research.
Principal Author: Emily A. Dare, Michigan Technological UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota
As national reform documents and movements, such as Next Generation Science Standards (National Research Council (NRC), 2013), push K-12 educators to begin to include engineering and integration of the STEM disciplines, there is a need to create curricula that meet a multitude of different standards. Additionally, the NRC (2012) and researchers alike (e.g., Archer et al., 2010, 2012; Brophy et al., 2008; Calabrese Barton et al., 2008; Halpern et al., 2007; Scantlebury, 2014) aim to engage a more diverse population of students to pursue STEM careers. This presentation focuses on an example of teacher-created integrated STEM curricula that combines girl-friendly instructional strategies (Häussler et al., 1998; Newbill & Cennamo) with an integrated STEM framework (Moore et al., 2014). The ultimate purpose of this study is to understand how reform movements can be beneficial for all students – specifically focusing on women. Additionally, the curriculum focuses on physics, a STEM field that has notoriously struggled to engage more women in the field. By examining this integrated STEM curriculum with a girl-friendly lens, the science education community can begin to better produce equitable curricula to engage a diverse population of learners.
Principal Author: Tammy Dutton. Lee, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gail Jones, NC State University; Bonnie Glass, East Carolina University; Katherine Chesnutt, NC State University
Complex systems surround us from the ecosystems that we inhabit and share with other living organisms to the systems that supply our water (i.e., water cycle). Developing an understanding of complex systems consists of evaluating events, entities, problems, and systems from multiple perspectives; this approach is known as “systems thinking.” New curricular standards have made explicit the call for teaching with a “systems thinking” approach in our science classrooms; however, little is known about how elementary in-service or pre-service teachers understand complex systems, especially in terms of systems thinking. This mixed methods study investigated sixty-seven elementary in-service teachers’ and sixty-nine pre-service teachers’ knowledge of a complex system (e.g., water cycle) and their knowledge of systems thinking. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of content assessment data and questionnaires were conducted. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a subsample of participants. Results from this study showed elementary in-service and pre-service teachers had different levels of systems thinking from novice to intermediate. Common barriers are identified with both in-service and pre-service teachers for identifying components and processes, recognizing multiple interactions and relationships between subsystems and hidden dimensions, and finally, difficulty understanding the human impact on the water cycle system.
Principal Author: Erica L. Smith, The Johns Hopkins UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Carolyn Parker, The Johns Hopkins University; David McKinney, The Johns Hopkins University
Our paper describes the development of two urban elementary teachers as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professional development (PD) facilitators. This project is situated in a NSF-funded multi-year Math Science Partnership between a university and an urban school district in the eastern United States. The project focuses on improving STEM education in grade three through five. As part of that project and within the framework of Desimone’s (2009) critical features of effective PD, this study explored (1) how inservice elementary STEM master teachers describe effective PD; and (2) how inservice elementary STEM master teachers utilize their past experiences in science PD and expertise teaching in an urban school district to design content-specific PD with an eye towards making it effective. This qualitative study utilized a descriptive case study approach. Focus group interviews, descriptive field notes of PD planning and sessions, and post-session reflections by the master STEM teachers were collected and analyzed. Preliminary analysis revealed that the master teachers had very definitive perceptions of effective PD. These perceptions established the parameters with which the PD was developed. Findings contribute to a growing understanding of how to foster collaboration between researchers and practitioners to co-create effective teacher-led STEM PD.
Principal Author: Sheila Dean, University of IllinoisAbstract:
Modeling Instruction is a model-based and research-based pedagogical approach to secondary science education with an emphasis on the construction and application of conceptual models of physical phenomena as a central aspect of learning and doing science. Modeling Instruction has demonstrated greater gains in student content knowledge than traditional lecture-lab courses at the secondary school level as well as improved student attitudes towards learning science.
The use of Modeling Instruction has grown throughout the US, including in Illinois; and most teachers are trained via excellent summer teacher workshops offered in the state and across the country. The workshops include extensive practice in implementing the current Modeling Instruction curricula as intended for high school classes, with participants rotating through roles of student and instructor.
Further expansion of the implementation of Modeling Instruction should be facilitated by substantive inclusion of this pedagogical approach in pre-service teacher training. However, time and content constraints preclude teaching Modeling Instruction in our courses in exactly the same manner as the teacher workshops. In addition, local early field placements do not provide observations of Modeling Instruction, so course content cannot be directly connected to practice.
Our challenge is to develop courses and experiences within these constraints that provide adequate training in Modeling Instruction to develop positive dispositions toward this pedagogical approach as well as some degree of ability and comfort with implementing it. A redesigned methods course with a focus on Modeling Instruction was implemented in fall 2014, and research started on the effectiveness of implementation. Multiple surveys and course assignments for two cohorts of students—2015 and 2016 graduates—will be used to evaluate students’ dispositions towards Modeling Instruction at various points as well as their use of this approach in student teaching and first year practice; and preliminary data will be included in this presentation.
Principal Author: Vanashri Nargund-Joshi, New Jersey City UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nazan Bautista, Miami University
There are increasing number of English Language Learners and few teachers specially trained to work with them, especially in sciences. This study aims to develop preservice teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is defined as the knowledge developed by teachers to help others learn specific content. A state-led effort of Next Generation Science Standards promotes science and engineering practices at all grade levels and for ALL students in the United States. This research project will challenge PSTs views and possible misconceptions about teaching in ELL classrooms via structured reflections and will support their learning through different activities that build their repertoire to address the needs of ELL. This qualitative research study will generate case studies allowing me to compare PSTs’ PCK development to teach science to ELL. It will also allow me to develop in-depth understanding of reasons behind similarities and differences in teachers’ PCK development for teaching science to ELL.
Principal Author: Meredith L.. Reinhart, University of ToledoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cindy Richard, The University of Toledo; Joan N.. Kaderavek, The University of Toledo; Charlene M.. Czerniak, The University of Toledo
This presentation will describe the metacognitive framework, inquiry and engineering activities, field experiences, and assessment methods used for designing and teaching an early childhood science methods course (K-3) consistent with A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Framed within an ecological perspective and grounded in cognitive and social constructivist theories, this methods course immerses early childhood majors in collaborative scientific inquiry and engineering investigations while simultaneously encouraging reflections on student discourse, effective classroom management, meaningful communication of science concepts, and developmentally appropriate assessment techniques. Pedagogical prompts and discourse strategies are embedded within the activities rather than taught in isolation. By taking on the roles of (1) Discourse Designer, (2) Classroom Management Specialist, (3) Content Communicator, and (4) Assessment Analyzer, undergraduates are encouraged to think metacognitively about their own instructional practices, the quality of student engagement, the integration of literacy and math standards, and the developmental needs of their students. These pedagogical roles are further tested in the field as the methods students design and teach a series of science lessons in K-3 assigned classrooms. As a final project, the students analyze videotapes of their own teaching and share their ideas regarding implications for future instruction with their peers.
Data has been collected over the course of two semesters, and initial results have shown substantial growth in student’s pedagogical content knowledge. In addition, many students have reported an increase in their interest in science as well as in their motivation to teach science in early childhood classrooms. This session will provide participants with detailed accounts of the development and enactment of this early childhood methods course, as well as all related handouts, including the syllabus, lesson plans, data recording sheets, and assessments.
Principal Author: Xavier E. Fazio, Brock UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tiffany L. Gallagher, Brock University
Our paper presents findings from a design-based research project focused on an integrated physical science and literacy curriculum for elementary classrooms. Grade 5 teachers and science education researchers co-constructed curricular and pedagogical knowledge for science and literacy integration, and designed instructional resources for students’ learning physical science concepts through an integrated unit titled ‘Properties and Changes in Matter’. Using qualitative methods and analyzing student and teacher artifacts our results identified themes illustrating how teachers’ views changed over time using a design-based research approach. Major findings include the value of collaboration for teacher development; teachers’ evolving understanding of integration in science and literacy; and, the importance of classroom feedback to validate implementation of new pedagogical practices. This study will resonate with educators who facilitate professional learning communities and meaningful collaboration regarding curricular integration of science and literacy. Recommendations are offered for elementary science teachers and researchers using design-based research for curriculum and teacher development.
Principal Author: Yohanis de la Fuente, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
The vision of science education, as presented in the works of van den Akker, J.; Millar, R.; Abd-El-Khalick,F.; and Osborne, J.; among many others, is to create scientifically literate citizens who can function in a scientifically complex world. This vison, paired with new developments in the science of learning, accentuates the importance of promoting students ownership of their learning. From this perspective, instruction should consider better ways for students to acquire and cultivate abilities that will assist them in the understanding of their learning needs and develop inquiry skills that promote scientific literacy. A metacognitive approach to learning focused on sense making, self-assessment, and reflection on what worked and what needs improving increases the degree to which students transfer their learning to new settings and events (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000).
The objective of this study is to collect evidence that could help teachers understand what actions are necessary in the classroom to promote students’ ownership of learning. The study analyzes the role of students in a science classroom in the United States and Australian by observing and comparing the activities in the classroom and the student role during instruction. The review and comparison of classroom activities in other countries could reveal alternative pedagogical approaches that promote, to greater or lesser extent, student learning.
In this presentation, the analysis of the collected data reveals some likeness and differences among the two nations. It will exposed, that students demonstrate capability and interest for understanding the content, and that this attitude should be better used to develop inquiry skills that promote scientific literacy. The need to emphasize to teachers that students should struggle with important concepts is erected in this data. Additionally, that comprehending that students learn better and learn with understanding when their existing knowledge interacts with the new, is natural to science, hence, to science learning and literacy.
Principal Author: Benjamin C. Herman, University of MissouriAbstract:
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent 550 randomly surveyed secondary marine science students’ perceptions about the validity of CC/GW science and willingness to mitigate CC/GW through various types of actions were influenced by 1) using the term “climate change” or “global warming” in survey items; 2) the number of science courses completed; and 3) the extent CC/GW and related topics were a focus in their science coursework. Categorical regressions (CATREG) determined that the extent the term “climate change” or ‘global warming” was used in survey response items insignificantly influenced the participants’ perceptions about the validity of CC/GW scientists’ claims and willingness to mitigate CC/GW. However, the extent the participants completed science coursework and how much that coursework focused on CC/GW was positively associated with their perceptions about the validity of CC/GW scientists’ claims and willingness to engage in CC/GW mitigating behaviors (e.g., supporting CC/GW education and conserving energy). Furthermore, the extent that the participants had learned specific CC/GW related topics (e.g., how CC/GW science works and develops evidence, CC/GW impacts on sea level and biodiversity) was positively associated with their confidence in CC/GW scientists’ claims and willingness to mitigate CC/GW through actions requiring varying levels of personal involvement (e.g., supporting CC/GW education, paying more taxes for CC/GW research and mitigation). Implications include the need for implementing science curriculum that extensively addresses the nature of CC/GW science and CC/GW topics relevant to students’ experiences and interests in order to help achieve longstanding goals of motivating responsible socioscientific decision-making.
Principal Author: Andrew Gilbert, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
This presentation represents a direct effort to meet the conference call to "forge a new trail" by developing the concept of wonder as a pedagogical tool designed to positively impact pre-service elementary teachers (PSETs) perceptions of science. This is both an effort to "push the boundaries of traditional science education" while simultaneously addressing what Tytler (2007) termed the crisis of interest in science education. The question becomes how can we reverse years of often negative associations with science content and pedagogy to create approaches that positively impact PSETs perceptions of science and scientific thinking? To this end, this study sought to: 1) articulate PSETs perceptions regarding their relationship to science and investigate if pedagogy steeped in wonder could impact those perceptions, 2) conceptualize a Pedagogy of Wonder.
Children are often given credit for their innate ability to wonder about the natural phenomena they encounter, however, this view of wonder is not usually extended to working with adults. The key element that wonder frameworks bring to science education is the direct link between science content and both the emotive as well as the aesthetic realm (Hadzigergiou, 2012; Stolberg, 2008). Wonder places the human experience at the center of the inquiry process as opposed to the science content. In forging this 'new path' a pedagogy of wonder demands connection to the emotive embodiment of science as a uniquely human process that nurtures our intense need to know.
This 2.5 year instrumental case study worked to investigate how these frameworks could impact pre-service elementary teachers perceptions of both themselves and science.
Three general profiles of PSET participants emerged from these processes, namely: science averse, science receptive and science passionate. Over the duration of the study, wonder frameworks had the most profound impacts on science averse PSETs. These findings and the resulting process depicting a Pedagogy of Wonder will be the centerpiece of the presented research efforts.
Principal Author: Andrea M.. Rediske, University of Central FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Malcolm B.. Butler, University of Central Florida
The utilization of the laboratory in teaching science courses has roots in progressivism and the philosophies of Herbert Spencer and John Dewey. Spencer asserted that science is best learned through inquiry-based experiences. Dewey emphasized that an ideal school contained laboratories that allow students to discover principles studied in the classroom. Current use of laboratories in science courses is based on these foundations. Developing an effective introductory microbiology curriculum is a challenging endeavor due to scale-up for large student populations, material production, and biohazard disposal. Research indicates that concurrent enrollment in a lecture and laboratory science course and correlation of lecture and lab topics can increase retention of material and improve student performance. However, there is little evidence of this practice in introductory microbiology courses. The purpose of this study was to determine if such a correlation exists, and if so, what type of institutions routinely correlate lecture and lab topics. This pilot study surveyed 26 introductory microbiology instructors’ current practices at Florida institutions, large-enrollment institutions as defined by US News and World Report, top-ranked institutions as defined by US News and World Report, and a sampling of smaller universities and community colleges. Analysis of syllabi showed no consistent alignment or lack of alignment across all institution types. When institutions were re-grouped as “research institutions” whose research expenditures exceeded 25 million dollars and “non-research institutions” with less than 25 million in research expenditures, analysis indicated that non-research institutions are more likely to align lecture and lab topics than research institutions. However, some research institutions reported closely controlled alignment of lecture and lab materials while some non-research institutions reported no such alignment. Further research is necessary to determine if these results are significant in larger sampling of research and non-research institutions.
Principal Author: Mohammed A. Qazi, Tuskegee UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University; Alicia Curry, Tuskegee University; Michael Curry, Tuskegee University; Carol Banks, Tuskegee University
A Tuskegee University led multi-institution, multidisciplinary Math and Science Partnership (MSP) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is implementing contemporary evidenced-based interventions to improve Science education in the middle grades in ten school districts of the socio-economically and educationally disadvantaged Alabama Black Belt region. The corner stone of the partnership is the development, classroom delivery and evaluation of unconventional, but innovative NanoBio science-based course modules to teach middle grades science concepts in the ten partner school districts. To-date, forty-six such modules have been developed and tested by the partnership, some of which have been published by the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX). Partnerships are critical in the development of our modules, which include collaborative efforts by STEM and education faculty, and in-service and pre-service teachers.
The partnership offers an extensive teacher training component to prepare approximately 80 in-service middle grades science teachers in the use of the course modules in the classroom. Approximately 7,000 students across the partnership are benefiting from these newly created instructional resources, many of whom come from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM.
In this session, we will demonstrate a course module that has recently been developed for use by 6th grade science teachers in partnership schools to teach the Life Science concepts in connection with the formation of catastrophic weather events such as, tornadoes and hurricanes. We will use hands-on activities and models to explore and explain the “key ingredients” needed to form a storm and the various patterns and differences associated with each weather event. We will also share the module’s effectiveness in the classroom through data on student learning outcomes. The discussion of the module will be preceded by a description of the motivation and rationale of the Tuskegee University led MSP partnership, which is also often referred to as the “NanoBio Science partnership”.
Principal Author: Pamela Esprivalo. Harrell, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas; Elisabeth Pope, University of North Texas
Nationally, teacher attrition costs to recruit, hire, and train new teachers has been estimated at $2.2 billion (Borman & Dowling, 2006). Approximately half of new teachers will not persist in their career for five years and in the disciplines of mathematics and science there is significant asymmetrical reshuffling of teachers as teachers seek school setting and working conditions with lower percentages of minority students, higher levels of socioeconomic status, and stronger student achievement results (Ingersol, 2005). This five-year study investigated transfer and retention behavior for 76 STEM teachers. Using a binary regression analysis to explore the dependent variable (transfer/no transfer or retained/not retained) the following independent variables were used in the analysis: school setting poverty and minority percentages, state exit exam data, the number of separate assignment preparations, years teaching experience, and the annual number of school discipline infractions. Results of this study show almost one out of four teachers transferred to a different school during the first years of teaching and 11% of the participants left teaching altogether. The binary regression analysis showed that larger numbers of school discipline infractions resulted in the increase, by a factor of six, the likelihood that a teacher would transfer to a new school or leave teaching as a career. The number of years teaching experience was also shown to impact transfer and attrition with the strongest impact on those who left their teaching career. These findings expose the need not only to fill the STEM teacher pipeline, but to find ways to prevent public school systems from losing their most valuable asset, their teachers.
Principal Author: Sherri Brown, University of LouisvilleAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bill Thornburgh, University of Louisville; Pam Jett, University of Louisville
This study provides a summary of elementary pre-service teachers’ (n=352) science content conceptions and their explanation for those conceptions as they entered an elementary science methods course. Additionally, this study provides an overview of pre-service teachers’ (n=118) views toward science through their selection of descriptive words and personal drawings. Each elementary pre-service teacher (PST) was in the process of completing an undergraduate or graduate initial K-5 certification program. Beginning fall 2008, PSTs selected true or false on a 24-item content assessment and provided an explanation for why they thought each statement was true or false. If PSTs “guessed on their response,” they indicated this as their explanation. The twenty-four statements on the content conception instrument addressed common elementary students’ alternative conceptions and were equally distributed among three content domains: physical, life and Earth/space. Beginning spring 2014, PSTs described their view toward science by selecting descriptive words from a list of 20 adjectives; they also added any words that would capture their view.
Based on frequency counts, data analysis indicated that PSTs held similar alternative conceptions as their future elementary students in all content domains. Specifically, 50% or more of the PSTs held alternative conceptions regarding light for seed growth, motion and force of an object, bubble composition of boiling water, reason for seasons, and cause of moon phases. These non-scientific conceptions have been documented in the research literature for decades. PSTs’ views toward science were positive; more than 80% of the PSTs described science as interesting, necessary and valuable; 0% reported science as irrelevant or unimportant. This study provides methods instructors an increased awareness of specific content conceptions and personal views that elementary PSTs may hold. During our presentation we will outline methods to address these conceptions while supporting positive science views.
Principal Author: Cassie F. Quigley, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dani Herro, Clemson University; Faiza M.. Jamil, Clemson University
STEAM is considered a transdisciplinary learning process with the potential to increase diverse participation in STEM fields. However, a well-defined conceptual model that clearly articulates essential components of the STEAM approach is needed to conduct empirical research on STEAM’s efficacy. We propose a conceptual model of STEAM providing educators with the opportunity to teach effectively using transdisciplinary inquiry. STEAM education is in its early stages, however initial findings (Kang et al. 2012) indicate that STEAM teaching increases motivation, engagement, and effective disciplinary learning in STEM areas. STEAM-focused schools are cropping up all over the globe. However little conceptual or empirical work has systematically guided the development, implementation, and evaluation of STEAM based teaching practices (Kim and Park 2012). In sum, there is much interest among practitioners and researchers towards consider the STEAM approach because of early findings suggesting increased participation in STEM fields. However, the lack of empirical evidence as to the efficacy of this approach for developing capable students who are well equipped to solve problems and meet the challenges of the modern workforce remains. Thus, a well-defined conceptual model clearly articulating the essential components of the STEAM approach, and a corresponding measure of effectiveness enabling researchers and practitioners to establish the degree to which teachers are following the conceptual model, is needed to conduct empirical research. We propose a new conceptual model of STEAM, STEAM Classroom Assessment of Learning Experiences (SCALE). There are two dimensions in this model: instructional content and learning context, and six essential domains within these dimensions. Instructional content includes the domains subject-matter delivery, discipline integration, and problem solving skills development. The domain of learning context includes the dimensions instructional approaches, assessment practices, and equitable participation.
Principal Author: Patrick D. Ashby, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
Despite calls for equal scientific literacy for all students for the last twenty years from invested interest groups like the National Research Council (1996, 2012), science classroom instructional practices and curriculum still need to be developed and revised to better reach this goal for girls and other students marginalized by traditional science and science education (Gilbert, 2013). In an attempt to design instruction that better develops scientific literacy for all students, a first year high school chemistry unit called “The Pill” and Organic Chemistry was created. The unit was grounded in a feminist critique of science (Harding, 1986; Keller, 1996) and science education (Brickhouse, 2001; Calabrese Barton, 1997). The purpose of the study was to enact the unit, document student learning, and identify ways to improve the unit. Qualitative and quantitative data collection was framed by the work of Barab, Sadler, Heiselt, Hickey, and Zuicker (2007) for documenting student learning in a classroom guided by sociocultural learning theory. Student activities in the classroom were video and audio recorded. Student artifacts were collected, and students participated in interviews and pre and posttests. Resulting themes were developed around the three goals of the unit. First, while students recognized male bias existed in science historically, students had difficulty discussing the critical complexity of male bias in Western modern science. Second, students capably modeled organic molecules and participated in scientific argumentation and critique, but had trouble revising their work based on peer feedback. Third, the activities and nontraditional assessments of the unit provided students with alternative opportunities to traditional, multiple-choice tests to demonstrate strong scientific skill sets and a high degree of chemistry content knowledge. Finally, this study identifies ways to improve the unit, which has implications for teachers attempting to enact critical science education developed through the lens of sociocultural learning theory.
Principal Author: Pradeep M.. Dass, Northern Arizona UniversityAbstract:
In an attempt to promote inquiry and problem solving in middle grades (grades 6 – 8) classrooms, a technology mediated pedagogy integrating science and mathematics was implemented through Project SMILE (Science and Mathematics Integration for Literacy Enhancement), funded by a National Science Foundation DRK-12 grant. It involved in-service science and mathematics teachers in professional learning and classroom implementation over a period of two academic years, with the explicit goal of enhancing teachers’ ability to engage students in authentic scientific inquiry and problem solving effectively.
A modified version of the STS (Science-Technology-Society) pedagogy was used in order to integrate mathematics with science—SMTS (Science-Mathematics-Technology-Society). Using real life situations as the anchor for instruction and InspireData software as a technological tool to gather, organize, visualize, query, and analyze data, science and mathematics teachers collaborated to develop integrated instructional modules that promoted authentic scientific inquiry and problem solving, while addressing the curricular topics mandated in the state curriculum for science and mathematics. Impact on teacher understanding and instructional enactment of these practices were investigated through the use of SCOOP Notebook (an instructional artifacts collection and analysis instrument), RTOP (an instructional observation instrument), pre-post surveys and focus group interviews.
The design of Project SMILE in the context of recent reform efforts in science and mathematics education, along with the theoretical underpinnings, the research methodology employed to investigate the impact on both teachers and students, and the impact on teacher understanding and instructional enactment of inquiry-based instruction are discussed with an eye toward the usefulness of integrating science and mathematics and involving specific technological tools to realize the vision of the NGSS in school science and mathematics.
Principal Author: Julie B. Smart, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson University
Multiple instruments exist to evaluate a wide array of teaching practices; these measures primarily function to provide data for high-stakes decisions such as awarding merit pay and making personnel decisions. However, most teacher evaluation instruments fail to provide a model to support teachers in continuous growth and improvement. The current study details the development and validation of Teacher Intentionality of Practice Scale (TIPS), an observational protocol designed to measure intentional teaching practices and support teacher growth over time. The primary goal of this study is to develop a reliable and valid measure of research-based teacher instructional practices while also providing a growth model for K-12 educators at all levels of preparation and experience. TIPS aims to articulate a developmental model of teacher practices; how can we support teachers in a positive growth process that also includes their active input and involvement? Observations (N=76) were conducted in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms across all core subject areas during the validation process. This paper details the theoretical foundations of TIPS, reports specific measures of reliability and validity of the observational protocol, and discusses applications of TIPS for teacher evaluation and professional development.
Principal Author: Daniel M.. Alston, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson Univesity; Deborah Switzer
Since the mid 1900’s, authors of science reform documents have advocated for teachers to engage in inquiry-based instruction. However, most science teachers, even highly qualified teachers, are not enacting teaching practices that align with what constitutes as proficient inquiry-based instruction. Currently, new science reform documents, in the form of The Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), are asking teachers and students to engage in even more rigorous and challenging teaching and learning. Inquiry-based instruction is once again an advocated strategy for accomplishing the high expectations set forth in both documents. Many science teachers are unfamiliar with how to facilitate this type of teaching and learning. This can result in teachers experiencing negative emotional episodes as they struggle to facilitate inquiry-based instruction. Unchecked, these emotional episodes have the potential to adversely alter teacher behavior which might subsequently undermine the goals stated in the most current reform documents. Therefore, it is critical that teachers’ emotions and how they manage their emotions be further researched. This study seeks to design an instrument that can assess how science teachers appraise and emotionally respond to challenging situations that can occur when facilitating inquiry lessons. In order to accomplish this goal, a three phase instrument design and refinement process will occur. This process is focused on creating an instrument that produces valid and reliable results. Implications regarding the use of this instrument in professional development will be discussed.
Principal Author: Diego F. Rojas-Perilla, Teachers College Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College Columbia University
While science educators believe in the intrinsic usefulness of science for the everyday life of students, empirical research in science education has shown the difficulties of connecting school science with students’ everyday experiences. For example, different studies indicate that the beliefs, values, and conceptual understandings of teachers are of critical importance for helping students connect their prior knowledge with school experiences. However, few studies have tried to study how the factors that affect the use of everyday experiences in the science classroom interact within particular contexts. Using a grounded theory approach and a social constructivist framework, classroom observations and interviews of teachers and students were analyzed to examine the use of everyday experiences by both teachers and students in two science classrooms. From these data sources, there were identified seven different factors that help explain the poor use of everyday understandings in the classroom, including teacher preparation, the focus of the instruction, the low expectations that the teachers had for their students, teachers’ beliefs about science education, students’ beliefs regarding the application of science beyond school, time constraints of the school, and a lack of discussions and argumentation in the classroom. The findings reveal that these factors are not independent from each other, but interact in a complex network. Given the importance of connecting everyday and classroom experiences for the social and individual construction of knowledge, this study suggests that any approach to tackle this missing connection should consider simultaneously the curricular, pedagogical and structural aspects of schooling that affect the teaching and learning of science.
Principal Author: Daniel M.. Alston, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson Univesity
In the United States, reform movements have been a part of the science education community for decades. Inquiry-based instruction has a long history in reform documents and while it is not explicitly used in the most current national reform document (i.e., Next Generation Science Standards – NGSS), the underlying tenants of this instructional strategy are still evident in the scientific practices. Thus, inquiry-based instruction remains as a strategy that science teachers can use to address the expectations set forth in the NGSS. Given the increased expectations of the current standards, it is crucial that researchers provide science teachers with specific information concerning the characteristics and patterns their lessons should exhibit. This quantitative descriptive study sought to utilize 5 years of data collected on inquiry lessons to search for patterns between at least proficient and below proficient lessons. Specifically, we were seeking to describe these patterns in terms of the amount of class time spent in the different levels of inquiry, in the different components of inquiry, and in the different levels of student cognitive engagement. We ran MANOVAs to determine if distinct patterns existed. Results showed that at least proficient inquiry lessons spent more class time in proficient and exemplary inquiry instruction, more time allowing students to explore scientific concepts, and more time getting students to display higher-order thinking skills. These findings speak to different levels of inquiry instruction displaying distinct patterns. Implications of these preliminary findings speak to at least proficient inquiry instruction being a viable instructional strategy to accomplish the goals set forth in the NGSS. Additionally, these patterns provide information that professional development facilitators can use to move science teachers from developing and below to proficient and above inquiry instruction.
Principal Author: Ronald S. Hermann, Towson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cody Sandifer, Towson University; Jim Selway, Towson University
There is an ongoing shortage of highly qualified physics teachers across the United States. In an effort to reduce this shortage, universities must attract students to physics teacher preparation programs and retain those students once they are in the program. However, there is a dearth of information on the best practices for recruiting and retaining pre-service physics teachers. In recent years we have more than tripled the number of students in physics teacher education programs at Towson University near Baltimore, Maryland. Efforts to recruit more students into the physics teacher preparation programs at Towson University have been successful due to our ability to embrace a recruitment model that is flexible and adapts to student needs. Rather than try to maintain a static model maintaining the same practices that we think are working, we looked carefully at our efforts to recruit students compared to how students actually entered into the program. In doing so, we found several ways that we could change our recruitment model. Most notably, we realized that high school physics teachers had a profound influence on several students’ decision to become a physics teacher. So we began targeting local high school physics teacher to initiate discussions about the physics teacher shortage and what they may be able to do to help. Likewise, to retain students we reflected upon student feedback and realized that many students wanted an early teaching experience at the high school level which we weren’t offering at the time. As a result, we began offering an early teaching experience with local physics teachers. In this presentation we describe our efforts to recruit students into physics teacher education programs, though we believe these insights will be beneficial for recruiting and retaining students in any major. Moreover, we offer suggestions based on the lessons we learned in hopes that other universities may also increase have greater success with teacher recruitment and retention.
Principal Author: Jeff C. Marshall, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie B.. Smart, Clemson University; Daniel M.. Alston, Clemson University
With only 34% of 8th grade students earning a rating of proficient or higher in science education (from the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress data), much work is needed in our classrooms to achieve mastery of the performance expectations found in the Next Generation Science Standards. For decades, researchers have espoused the importance of constructivist-based methods such as inquiry-based instruction to meet the more rigorous performance expectations found in K-12 science education. However, current research is sparse relative to linking the effect of long-term interventions to the academic growth of students in science. This six-year study, involving 219 teachers and 15,292 students, sought to link the involvement of teachers in a sustained professional development intervention to student academic growth. Specifically, the intervention was designed to improve the quantity and quality of guided inquiry-based instruction in middle school science classrooms. Using a quasi-experimental design, we sought to measure if the growth scores of students of teacher participants exceeded the scores of students of non-participating teachers and students from a similarly matched virtual comparison group (VCG) on the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) science test. Medium to high effect sizes were noted for growth scores of students of participating teachers above what was expected for the VCG. Specifically, students of teachers who participated in the intervention consistently exceeded the growth expectations by 29-82% (depending on the test and the number of years of involvement in the intervention). This study supports prior research findings that inquiry-based instruction helps improve students’ achievement relative to scientific practices, but this study also shows that improved conceptual knowledge is a byproduct of effective inquiry-based instruction. Further research is needed to see if these findings hold for all grade levels.
Principal Author: Robin Dever, Kent State University GeaugaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sue Clemente, Kent State University Geauga
Funded through a grant, three institutions formed a partnership with the mission of enhancing science learning for area middle school students. These institutions included a large state university, a local park district and a large suburban school district. The pre-service middle childhood students from the university joined with the park staff to examine artifacts discovered during an archeological dig of a 1800s chair factory located on the property of the park district. These artifacts were examined by the pre-service teachers and served as the base of interdisciplinary units created in part of their science methods courses. The pre-service teachers then taught these units to 4th graders, when they visited the park district’s Environmental Learning Center as part of a field trip experience. This included experiences along the site of the archeological dig and other areas in the park. In addition to the field experience, all participating in-service teachers received pre and post lessons to teach in their classrooms including all required materials.
The projects’ effect on the pre-service teacher’s efficacy towards teaching science along with their belief that their science teaching will have a positive outcome on students was researched. Data was collected using the STEBI-B instrument and results concluded that there was a significant decrease in the levels of self-efficacy towards teaching science and no significant change in their beliefs about having positive outcomes resulting from their teaching. Discussion about why this may have occurred will occur along with a demonstration of the partnerships and units created will occur. Strategies to how the program can be modified to better increase efficacy will also be included.
Principal Author: Lauren P. Serpagli, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this study was to explore the use of Instagram on the learning experiences of a small group of students in a secondary science biology classroom. Because students are surrounded by a societal culture inundated with technology, including smart phones and social media, science teachers need to find ways to harness this popularity in the classroom. The focus of the study was a small AP Biology class, of eleven female, high school seniors, in a school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The first author acted as both the educator and the principal researcher of the study. An Instagram profile was created for the course and used in different ways: To post homework reminders, lab pictures, biology memes, current events, and discoveries, thereby exposing students to science in a different, “nontraditional” way.
Student reactions of the implementation of Instagram in the classroom were reported in a questionnaire, a focus group, individual interviews, and through daily observations documented by the first author. Based on the data collection, the findings reveal four themes for how students were using Instagram for class. The students found Instagram useful when completing laboratory write-ups, for both retrieving pictures as well as reviewing the process of the lab based on the pictures posted. The students also found that the account kept the classroom accessible to them, as they could be reminded of the topics being covered in class even after leaving school for the day. Instagram also provided the students with brief visual snapshots of the course content, summarizing the information in a picture. Finally, it allowed for curriculum extensions, providing additional information that connected what was being taught in class. On the whole, the findings of the study show the success of Instagram integration in science education and usefulness and benefits of using social media in a secondary science classroom. As a form of technology they are familiar with, it provides a new context for learning and communicating, keeping the science classroom relevant.
Principal Author: Yi Li, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
Today’s globalized world provides challenges related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); therefore, it is increasingly essential for every citizen to understand science in order to make informed decisions to live safely and happily (National Research Council, 2001). This study tells a story about a quiet female student in a reform-based chemistry classroom. The study employs narrative methodology to understand how she acted in class and what factors affected how she acted in class. Analysis and interpretation was guided by identity construction and grounded theory. Narratives from the participants and interviews from several of her teachers and friends revealed how her past school and family experiences helped her construct a good science student identity in the classroom, which determined how she acted in her science classroom context. Findings suggest that when promoting reform curriculum, science educators need to think carefully about how students interpret the conflicts between new and past school experiences. Therefore, this study provides two implications for science educators and curriculum developers. First, when reforming the curriculum, teachers need to give students clear instructions on what the new expectations are in a reform-based class and model new learning strategies. Second, science educators should be aware of cultural and family backgrounds of students and how these experiences create conflict in science learning environments. Strategies to involve students in the discursive discussions of science classrooms for argumentation are needed to assist in student engagement and comfort in learning science. Whenever promoting a new curriculum, we need to think carefully about who will benefit and who will not. Additional support is required to assist students in making a smooth transition across differing contexts and time.
Principal Author: Len Annetta, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard Lamb, Washington State University; David Vallett, University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Marina Shapiro, George Mason University; Benjamin Matthews, George Mason University
The proposed poster describes both learning progressions and project-based learning individually and then explains how the two can be combined into what we have called a project based learning progression and how this may be beneficial to teaching and learning at the K-12 level. The paper concludes by describing that there may be evidence to suggest that a learning progression occurs through project-based learning paradigms. In particular, this appears when students are engaged in a project-based learning environment, such as Serious Educational Game design or more specifically when participating in the development of a Serious Educational Game.
Principal Author: Rommel J. Miranda, Towson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie B. Damico, Baltimore County Public Schools
This study investigates the extent to which teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices concerning inquiry-based instruction changes following participation in a large mid-Atlantic university’s year-long RET-PLC professional development program. Quantitative methods were used to explore this study’s research questions. Data was collected using the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning instrument, the Pedagogical Discontentment instrument, and the Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol. Supported with NASA funding, twelve secondary science teachers participated in the study. The implications of this study’s findings suggest that RET programs that incorporate a professional learning community component can help to shift teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices concerning inquiry-based instruction, and help them to increase the level of inquiry in their science lessons. Another implication of this study’s findings is that teacher professional development models need to be developed to help teachers effectively plan more time for students to conduct inquiry-based activities, to communicate findings based on evidence, and to develop questions to investigate themselves. Moreover, the findings of this study can help to inform science teacher education and professional development programs in creating more fruitful experiences for these professionals, and help them to align their beliefs and practice more toward the constructivist visions of current reform efforts.
Principal Author: Heidi L.. Masters, University of Wisconsin-La CrosseAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith A.. Park Rogers, Indiana University-Bloomington
Developing children’s scientific literacy remains at the forefront of science education. To obtain this goal, children need opportunities to learn science in ways that allow them to internalize the content. Thus, learning to formulate explanations in science is one way for children to develop the knowledge and skills they will need for their everyday life and the workforce. However, whether children receive the opportunity to engage in this scientific practice is dependent on their teachers’ subject matter knowledge (SMK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Unfortunately, many elementary teachers were not taught how to formulate a scientific explanation or support children with this scientific practice. Professional development is one approach to developing inservice teachers’ knowledge for scientific explanation instruction. Therefore, this study employed an embedded mixed methods multi-case study design (Creswell, 2014) with three early childhood (grades K-2) teachers to examine what changes occurred to their SMK and PCK for teaching scientific explanations while participating in a professional development program that focused on this practice. Quantitative and qualitative measures were collected and analyzed to identify what changes occurred to the teachers’ SMK and PCK throughout the study. The results of this study indicate the teachers could construct the claim and provide supporting evidence to some degree, but struggled the most with the reasoning component. On the other hand, all three teachers made significant changes to all five components of their PCK for teaching explanations in science. These findings have implications for professional developers and teacher educators regarding how to prepare teachers for scientific explanation instruction.
Principal Author: Catherine Pozarski Connolly, University of Nevada, RenoAbstract:
Co-Authors: David T.. Crowther, University of Nevada, Reno; Jacque Ewing-Taylor
This presentation will discuss the creation of the project and findings from the first year pilot of a three year grant, funded by the NSF, which seeks to create a STEM focused, energy efficiency curriculum for middle and high school classes. The goals of the project include increasing STEM learning experiences with real-time school electrical consumption data, improve teacher competence in STEM and inquiry teaching techniques, and ultimately have students assist facility managers to reduce energy costs. What makes this project unique is the use of real time electrical data collection made available by hardware placed in school sites, which allow students to monitor loads within a classroom to see how power consumption changes by turning on and off different loads, such as lights, computers, refrigerators, etc. in real time. Students can then make recommendations to school personnel in order to reduce the energy bill by 10% at a school site.
Each lesson in the energy efficiency curriculum has a STEM focus, making the content more relevant for teachers and students. This also allows for the content to be used in a more diverse range of classrooms rather than just environmental science classes. Furthermore, the lessons each incorporate the three-dimensions outlined in the NGSS and are presented in a 5E learning cycle format (Bybee, 2002). In the first year of the grant the hardware required to monitor real-time energy consumption data in schools was installed, and a dashboard for students to interpret the real-time data was created. The first three units of the curriculum were developed with an initial outline and plan created for units four and five, which utilize the real-time data collection hardware and software with a more project based approach. The curriculum progresses from concept development in the early lessons to application in the later units.
Principal Author: Julie S.. Kalnin, University of PortlandAbstract:
Co-Authors: Patricia D.. Morrell, University of Portland
Climate change is mentioned as a core idea in the NGSS (National Research Council, 2013). Lynds (2010) suggests that secondary teachers are in need of PD to develop a solid grounding in GCC. With funding from the NASA Innovations in Climate Education Program, we designed a PD model that established scientist-teacher partnerships as a cornerstone for exploring the complexity of global climate change. Each year for three years participating teachers engaged with scientists in a two-week intensive research project on a variety of topics relating to climate change sandwiched by more traditional PD experiences.
Earlier analyses had documented that this PD model was effective in meeting its goals (Morrell, O’Connell, & Nelson, 2015; Morrell & O’Connell, 2013). For this study, we reexamined the data from a longitudinal perspective using the framework of social learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998): How do the teachers navigate the three communities of practice (field-based science research, university-based teacher development, and secondary science classrooms) that have intentionally been brought into contact through the design of this three-year project? The data included: Workshop evaluations, Teacher reflections, Unit plans, Teacher interviews; Open ended questionnaire, Scientist interviews.
The findings demonstrated similar pathways for the teachers in relation to their membership in the three communities: they were a community of learners, teachers, and scientists. As they progressed through the three years of the PD, the teachers’ role in the learning communities and their identities transformed. The common purpose of improving the public’s knowledge about climate change, multiple years of fieldwork, and intensive summer residencies created exchanges among the scientists, teacher educators and teachers that developed shared understandings between scientists and teachers and expanded approaches for accomplishing the shared goal of educating students and broader populace about global climate change.
Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at PembrokeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer Spivey, East Columbus High School
Education for sustainability is a visionary approach to education that seeks to help people better understand the world in which they live and how to face the future with hope and confidence, knowing that they can play a role in addressing the complex and interdependent problems that threaten their future: poverty, wasteful consumption, environmental degradation, urban decay, population growth, gender inequality, health issues and the violation of human rights (UNESCO, 2011). There is a need for students in science classrooms to investigate their own attitudes and behaviors regarding the environment and sustainability. Environmental experiences are a key part of shaping students’ perceptions and attitudes. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of an on-campus apiary project on students’ environmental attitudes and behaviors on their views of sustainability through an action research project conducted by a lateral entry science teacher. A qualitative design was used in a high school biology class of 28 students in rural Southeastern North Carolina. Phenomenography was used as a research method to map qualitatively the distinct ways in which the students perceived, conceptualized, understood and experienced the various dimensions of and phenomena of their understanding of sustainability. During a semester-long apiary ecology unit, students were introduced to the art of beekeeping and how sustainable ecological practices impact bees. Students completed an environmental behavior and attitude survey pre/post and were asked to draw their definition of sustainability both before and after the unit. Interviews with four students were conducted to confirm the students’ understandings of sustainability. The results showed a positive influence on students’ understanding of sustainability. This confirms the importance of place-based projects around sustainability in preservice teacher education and in the teaching of science to high school students.
Principal Author: Mahsa Kazempour, Penn State University (Berks Campus)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Aidin Amirshokoohi, DeSales University
Since the 1970s, the focus of environmental education has been on developing an environmentally literate population and “global citizens” (Hart, 2007). Rowe’s findings (1999) suggested that students enrolled in sustainability-focused courses acquire a deeper sense of concern regarding our society’s prospects and a greater sense of empowerment. In the case of teacher candidates, the impact of undergraduate science courses, in particular, environmental education content courses, is even more profound, because it will extend beyond the candidate to influence subsequent generations of students they will be teaching.
The goal of the current qualitative study was to explore the impact of a reform-based sustainability-focused environmental science course on elementary pre-service teachers’ views and attitude toward science and the environment, their willingness to take action to resolve environmental issues, and willingness and sense of confidence in teaching science and environmental education in particular.
Participants learned about inquiry and the interconnection of numerous fields of science as the basis of environmental science. They also became more aware of the interconnectedness of science, technology, and society and consequently found further interest in science and its relevance to their lives. As the course unfolded, students identified a greater number of, and more specific examples of, environmental issues and discussed each in depth, relating them to course components. Students also became further aware of the underlying science concepts as well as positive actions that have taken place in an attempt to solve such issues. They also gained a more positive attitude toward environmental issues and began working toward issue resolution and became cognizant of the positive and negative impacts of their everyday actions and decisions.
This study will be of special interest to ASTE members involved in teacher education, reformed-based undergraduate science teaching, and environmental education, as well as research involving these areas.
Principal Author: Miriam D. Munck, Eastern Oregon UniversityAbstract:
This study reports on the evolution of 3 year STEM professional development for rural teachers and resulting teacher learning outcomes. Each PD workshop presented a context relevant to rural teachers and their students utilizing a Natural Resource overall theme. In each context, Institute instructors modeled teaching STEM through real life engineering and science inquiry, and appropriate technology and mathematics. NGSS and Common Core Math standards guided the content. Workshop goals were to improve teacher knowledge of STEM, STEM careers, understanding of STEM connections between disciplines and to improve teachers’ ability to design STEM units around real life, authentic rural contexts.
The research question guiding this study:
What effects did PD have on teachers’ ability to design STEM units, particularly their ability to connect the STEM disciplines as mandated by NGSS using authentic contexts?
Data for this study came from teacher produced unit frameworks that were assessed using Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) science rubric. Framework data was analyzed by change in individual teachers and by overall change of the Institute teachers over the course of the 3 year Institute.
Principal Author: Merrie Koester, Ph.D., University of SC Center for Science EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meta Van Sickle, Ph.D., College of Charleston
Science teacher educators will learn about research which employed drawing practice to deepen teacher content knowledge, enable struggling students to acquire epistemic agency, achieve academic success, and communicate their understanding of the language and nature of science in classrooms characterized by an ethic of care and aesthetic inquiry. This experiential session is based on data from PROJECT DRAW FOR SCIENCE, a collaborative action research initiative exploring the power of drawing, visual thinking and aesthetic inquiry in the science classroom. The research stems from 25 years of field testing methods of teaching science through the creative arts.
More and more, science teachers find themselves with students who are reading below grade level, for whom much science informational text seems threatening. A lecture-based approach rarely engages the special needs student, whose creative gifts may be foregrounded by teacher attention to what’s “wrong” with them. The researcher’s book, Science Teachers Who Draw: The Red Is Always There, narrates dramatic turn-arounds by previously marginalized students, guided by caring teachers who facilitated the transformations.
Unlike other studies on drawing in science, which focus primarily on students, this research was primarily about what was happening with teachers. First, they were challenged to draw simple explanatory pictures of specific science topics (standards). Immediately, all teachers realized they lacked deep content knowledge of many standards. Some also fretted that they “drew like nine-year-olds”; however, their students responded in positive and caring ways to their adult admissions of vulnerability. All drawing styles, from the iconic and expressive to representative, were equally effective. Teachers and students jointly produced “Know”tations - one page drawings which convey through words, pictures, symbols, and iconic actions the narrative of situated, contextual, intellectually purposeful, inquiry-based learning. This will be drawing to learn workshop, so please bring paper and pen/pencil.
Principal Author: Hania M.. Salame, Wayne State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Maria M.. Ferreira, Wayne State University
Research indicates that the number of English Language Learners (ELL) and immigrant students in US schools is on the rise. Some estimate that by 2030 their numbers could account for 25 - 40% of all students in k-12 schools (Garcia, 2002). The growing number of this student population requires that schools afford additional language support and resources to help them achieve academically. The Lee and Fradd’s (1998) framework of instructional congruence provides science teachers with a framework that can be used to increase ELL students’ opportunities to learn science in meaningful ways. According to Lee and Fradd (1998), mediating the nature of academic content with students’ language and cultural experience creates instructional congruence and makes science content meaningful and relevant for different learners. In this study a mixed method approach was used to examine the impact of the instructional congruence model on a group of English Language Learners’ achievement and attitudes toward science. Barmby, Kind and Jones’ (2008) Attitude Toward Science survey was used to measure changes in students’ attitudes toward science, whereas student achievement was measured using all the teacher assessments for two units of instruction (one before and the other after the implementation of the instructional congruence model).
The results of this study indicated a significant increase in student achievement and in the various domains of their attitudes toward science. These findings support previous research in the US and abroad examining the impact of the instructional congruence model on students’ attitudes toward science (Luykx & Lee, 2007; Zain et al., 2010). However, this study included high school students of Middle Eastern background, a student population rarely included in research, and, unlike previous studies, the teacher was of a culture, background and language different from his students’.
Principal Author: Aidin Amirshokoohi, DeSales UniversityAbstract:
The Science, Technology, Society, and Environment (STSE) effort is one of the reform movements in the past few decades strongly identified with meeting the challenge of preparing a scientifically literate public (Bybee, 1993; Roth, 1992). Environmental education falls under the umbrella of STS education. The STS curriculum enables students to understand the interdependence of science, technology, and society; to become empowered to make informed and responsible decisions; and to act upon those decisions (van Eijck & Roth, 2013; Yager, Choi, Yager, & Akcay, 2009).
Before an STS curriculum can be developed and put into practice, science teachers’ beliefs must be compatible with the goals of the STS curriculum (Brunkhorst & Andrews, 1996). Hence, the role of teacher education is of paramount importance to the success of STS reforms (Kumar & Altschuld, 2000). Unfortunately, very little research has been performed concerning pre-service elementary teachers' perceptions regarding STS instruction or the impact of STS-based teacher education courses on their beliefs (Author, 2009; Jamuluddin, 1990).
This presentation will focus on a case study of a group of elementary pre-service teachers who experienced the STS-based science methods course at a large Northeastern university. The case study examined their pre and post environmental literacy, views and attitude toward STS as well as STS instruction, and how their experiences and various course components influenced their views and attitudes.
The results of this study indicated that the STS issue instructional program improved the pre-service teachers’ environmental literacy skills, their attitudes and perceptions toward STS issues, and their attitudes and perceptions toward teaching STS issues to elementary students. It is highly recommended that more teachers be given training in STS/EE instruction prior to certification, and practicing teachers should be encouraged and given the opportunity to take STS/EE courses. This study will be of major interest and relevance to science educators and researchers at the conference
Principal Author: Alec M. Bodzin, Lehigh UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Robert Marsteller, Lehigh University; William Farina, Lehigh University; David Anastasio, Lehigh University; Raghida Sharif, Lehigh University
Online learning for K-16 students is of increasing importance to science teacher education as instructional technology continues to play an important role in the development of digital content and learning tools that can be used by science teachers. More teachers and students are participating in science learning experiences with online curriculum than ever before. Online teaching and learning environments can be designed to provide unique digital content and tools to promote science learning. This paper set includes three recent initiatives for designing online science teaching and learning environments. The papers present descriptions of the curriculum approaches and key design principles used to promote science teaching and learning. Two papers focus on science teaching and learning without any face-to-face interactions and one paper presents a hybrid learning environment implementation. The first paper describes an online secondary biological science curriculum designed for students to practice evidentiary reasoning skills. The second paper presents an asynchronous chemistry module designed to promote knowledge integration. The third paper presents a hybrid approach for implementing an online plate tectonics investigation designed to promote geospatial thinking with Web GIS. Findings from implementation studies are presented. Implications for the professional development of science teachers will be discussed.
Principal Author: Kristin L. Cook, Bellarmine UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gayle A. Buck, Indiana University
A growing body of educational research suggests science studied in one’s neighborhood becomes a valuable venue for fostering not only students’ conceptual understanding but also a connection to their place. In this cross case analysis focusing on the emotional energy inspired by place-based curricula, we illustrate the 1) emotional connections that result from place-based experiences, 2) value students place on solidarity-building interactions, and 3) barriers to realizing the potential of place-based pedagogy in terms of fostering students’ emotional engagement with the community. These understandings are supported a manner that provides science teacher educators who are interested in enhancing emotional engagement through place-based instruction with practical applications and theoretical underpinnings that could enhance their own practice or research efforts.
Principal Author: Judith H.. Sandholtz, University of California, IrvineAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Ringstaff, WestEd
Teacher participation in effective professional development offers a promising approach to improving science instruction, but teachers must continue to teach science regularly and to use the targeted instructional strategies after the professional development ends. This NSF-funded study addresses the need for longitudinal research by investigating how contextual factors influenced the sustainability of professional development outcomes beyond the funding period. Earlier research on the impact of a three-year, state-funded professional development program designed to improve K-2 science education showed significant changes at the program’s end but a beginning pattern of decline in outcomes two years after the funding ended.
This follow-up study examined differences in contextual factors across schools and their influence on teachers’ decisions about science instruction. The research used a case-study approach with a purposive sample of five elementary schools that varied in instructional time in science two and three years after the funding period: two schools with low instructional time and minimal change, two with significant decreases in instructional time, and one with high instructional time. The primary data sources were teacher surveys and interviews conducted two and three years after the end of the professional development program. The findings highlight variations across schools and the influence of principal support, resources, collegial support, personal commitment, and external factors on the instructional time spent on science and the instructional approaches teachers used. Teachers’ most frequently requested forms of support were modest (e.g., periodic refresher professional development, collaboration time for science, opportunity to reconnect with other participants, supplies for hands-on activities) but hold important potential for sustaining science instruction. Schools should not rely on teachers’ individual drive to overcome contextual factors that hinder science instruction in elementary schools.
Principal Author: Kristin L. Cook, Bellarmine UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alan Brown, University of Kentucky; Genny Ballard, Centre College
Conducted during a study abroad course taught in Costa Rica, this study seeks to understand the ways in which the experience of a participatory action tool called photovoice stimulated an understanding of and connection to local sustainability issues. The study involves a cross-cultural exchange of ideas regarding sustainable crop development between study abroad students and community members in a rural mountain town in Costa Rica. Results indicated the experience of photovoice broadened and enriched all participants’ understanding of environmental sustainability as well as inspired critique of socio-scientific issues of personal relevance and impact. Photovoice is thus presented as a rich and engaging community participation tool with potential for connecting communities across culture and language.
Principal Author: Astrid Steele, Schulich School of Education, Nipissing UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christine Brew, Nipissing University; Brenda R. Beatty
Every semester I have pre-service teachers in my science education class build a tower from a piece of card stock and some masking tape. In brief, the scenario is that their airplane has crashed on an island inhabited by a small, friendly, indigenous population and crash survivors need to signal a passing ship for rescue. The students compete to build the tallest, most stable tower.
The activity provides a platform for us to explore: 1) STEM education, which is premised on the view that these disciplines are essential to global competitiveness and a brighter future and, 2) STSE, an ethics-influenced curriculum initiative to consider the relationships between science, technology, society and environment. We identify that STEM teaching and learning, while inviting in its interdisciplinary approach, could fall short in its ability to provide ethically grounded answers to pressing global concerns without an ethical framework as guide. Historically, science and technology combined have at times resulted in a very blurred social moral compass. While ethical decision-making is not synonymous with sustainability, various ethics-related perspectives can help teachers link science teaching and learning to wise decision-making. Thus, we propose that ethics become a regular part of the discourse and practice of teaching science and technology and ask: Can the use of an ethical framework enable educators to embrace the best of both STEM and STSE in the science classroom?
As educators, it is important to become cognizant of the worldview that informs STEM initiatives and to balance these with equal attention to social and environmental concerns. STEM disciplines provide an important canon of knowledge and skills, but STEM without ethical grounding, remains self-serving and hegemonic. Informed by the theory of Habermas’ knowledge interests, together STEM and STSE can support the imperative to act wisely and pragmatically from an ethically conscious perspective, to enable present and future sustainability.
Responsible tower building is harder than it looks.
Principal Author: Carol C.. Johnston, Mount Saint Mary's UniversityAbstract:
This study continues the exploration of the use of environment-based lessons to make science more relevant and reduce the fears of teaching science for pre-service elementary teachers. Past studies have taught me to be very explicit about how environment-based inquiries were used in modeled lessons to boost candidates’ confidence in their abilities to teach science and in being able to prepare science lessons that will engage their students. The following research questions guided this continuing work: In what ways will explicit discussions about the use of environmental-based inquiries aide candidates in creating their own science lesson plans? In what ways can these discussions lead to more positive beliefs about the relevance of school science? Candidates still struggled to create their own lesson plans that used environmental-based inquiries. However, attitudes toward teaching science became more positive, particularly with respect to seeing the relevance of science in everyday life.
Principal Author: Valarie L.. Akerson, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Enrique Galindo, Indiana University
This presentation shares the conceptions that teachers who participated in one and a half years of STEM professional development held over the course of the program. Through two week long intensive summer programs as well as five school year sessions, the teachers participated in activities targeted at developing their understandings of STEM as well as standards for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally teachers not only viewed videos of examples of STEM lessons, but also critiqued STEM lessons and units, and continued refining their ideas about what constituted good STEM lessons and units. Teachers additionally participated in STEM lessons in the role of students, and then unpacked the lessons in terms of considerations for teaching similar lessons at their respective grade levels. Finally, teachers designed STEM lessons and/or mini-units that will be used in their classrooms in the upcoming school year. The professional development team reviewed teachers’ written reflections on the meanings they ascribed to STEM over the course of the program, and reviewed the STEM lessons designed for use in their classrooms. It was found that teachers’ conceptions of STEM changed and refined over time, from the idea that it would be “difficult” to teach a STEM lesson in an elementary setting in a way that would actually enable students to learn content, to the idea that students in their classes would be better able to conceptualize important content when it was contextualized in a real world STEM lesson. Samples of teacher-designed STEM units as well as suggestions for future professional development programs are included.
Principal Author: Joe Shane, Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ian Binns, University of North Carolina Charlotte; Ronald Hermann, Towson University; Lee Meadows, University of Alabama Birmingham; Matthew Benus, Indiana University Northwest
Science and religion are two indisputably profound and durable cultural forces that have a complex history of interaction. Although scientific and religious perspectives are often characterized as in conflict with or mutually exclusive of one another, the actual relationships extend beyond simple dichotomies. In this experiential session, we argue for helping pre- and in-service science teachers to understand this complex history so that they can respond to issues such as the age and origins of the universe, biological evolution, and climate change in an appropriate manner. We first summarize four approaches to science-religion interactions: (1) the Warfare or Conflict thesis, (2) the Independence approach, (3) the Harmony thesis, and (4) the Complexity model. Historical and contemporary examples of each approach will be discussed during the session. Given that classroom and community discussions about science and religion are often manifested in ongoing controversies surrounding biological evolution, we next summarize the origins of anti-evolution movements via the rise and persistence of Christian Fundamentalism. Following a brief summary of anti-evolution legal and rhetorical strategies, we describe research indicating disparities between academic scientists and the general public with regards to religious beliefs. We intend to devote the majority of the session to discussing resources and practical suggestions for how science teacher educators can address interactions between science and religion in their curriculum and outreach. Although the session will emphasize circumstances in the United States, we recognize that these issues extend internationally and we encourage all interested ASTE members to attend and share their perspectives.
Principal Author: Beau B. Hartweg, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniella Biffi, Texas Christian University; Yohanis de la Fuente, Texas Christian University; Morgan Stewart, Texas Christian University; Melissa Patterson, Texas Christian University; Molly Weinburgh, Texas Christian University
Although ecosystems are outlined as a core concept for elementary students, several studies have determined that students from middle and high school, tend to think about individuals not populations, focus on certain animals ignoring other organisms (e.g. plants, insects), and do not think about the community as a system (Barman & Mayer, 1994; Grotzer & Basca, 2003; Tran, Payne & Whitley, 2010). Moreover, a study from Barman & Mayer (1994) showed that textbooks do not always explain the complexity of food chains and food webs.
A possible way for teachers to help students understand food chains is through the use of games. Several studies have shown the benefits of using games (Baines & Slutsky, 2009; Mayo, 2007; Pinder, 2008) to help students learn. Games may also be models or simulations of real, complex systems; thereby, helping students understand the interactive component of models.
A game format (Peruvian Food Chain Jenga [PFCJ]) was used to introduce models and food chains to 5th grade students. The PFCJ addresses the disciplinary core idea of ecosystems (LS2 of NGSS). In addition, the PFCJ targeted the crosscutting concepts of cause and effect (#2) and stability and change (#7); and the scientific practices of developing and using models (#2), constructing explanations (#6) and engaging in argument from evidence (#7; see NRC, 2012, Box S-1, p.3).
The research purpose was to determine how the use of the PFCJ impacts students’ conceptualization of food chains. Students from two schools participated, with half serving as control and half as treatment. A pre/post-test design was implemented to investigate how the use of the PFCJ as a model impacts student’s conceptualization of food chains.
Our presentation will discuss how the PFCJ impacts students’ conceptualization of food chains and marine ecosystems. Additionally, the presentation will discuss how the PFCJ can be used to engage students in social constructivist learning to develop dynamic models. Science teacher educators will learn about how this model can be used with various grade levels.
Principal Author: Julianne A. Wenner, Boise State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: John Settlage, University of Connecticut
Although progress has been made concerning overall academic performance in science for students, large gaps persist between the science achievement of African American and Latino children when compared to that of their White and Asian classmates as well as between the science achievement of high- and low-income children. Scholars typically frame the challenge of science achievement gaps as a human capital problem in which the focus is on the classroom, but we argue that scholars should instead attend to schoolwide factors such as the flow of information and resources throughout a school. Social networks have been shown to impact teachers’ practices and, ultimately, student achievement. However, it has also been documented that the subject influences how teachers think about instruction, meaning that science-related networks are different from ‘generic’ instructional networks in a school. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of various science-related networks in elementary STEM-themed schools and explore possible relationships to student science achievement. Using both social capital and social network perspectives, we constructed and administered a Science Communication Questionnaire to four schools in order to construct six science-related networks (e.g. content, pedagogy, etc.). Our findings indicate that there is a great deal of variation in the characteristics of the different science networks. Additionally, we found that while STEM coaches are typically the leaders of these networks, principals play a large role in science professional development networks. Finally, in regards to student achievement, we found that after accounting for the demographics of the schools, the school with the highest science achievement scores also generally had networks that were the least centralized, and demonstrated great coherence in terms of curriculum. This study has implications for instructing preservice science teachers about the power of social networks to promote science education reform and equitable science achievement.
Principal Author: Phillip A. Boda, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
This proposal provides a glimpse into the meta-cognitive activity that is put into action via a re-conceptualization of the purpose of a particular task in science education to elicit concept complexity – concept mapping (Novak, 2015). It also provides effects that this metacognitive and re-conceptualization practice had on student conceptual complexity via concept mapping in groups – within sites of co-generative meaning making (Leach & Scott, 2003). Through a self study of his own practice, this author provides evidence that action research on the ground is deepened through an emphasis of both reflective feedback vis-à-vis trial, error, and conference, as well as self-study that fosters meta-cognitive action leading to changes in practice through a re-conceptualization of tasks used in traditional science education. This is highlighted most prominently through an inquiry into assessment, pedagogy, and curricular changes throughout the three years that this teacher attempted to enact novel science education. The author therein analyzes both his own practice as a teacher over multiple years, as well as provides tangible evidence of student work that showcases its influence on students’ conceptual complexity.
Principal Author: Alandeom W.. Oliveira, State University of New York at AlbanyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Adam O.. Brown, University of Ottawa
Although the practice of giving examples is central to the effective teaching and learning of science, it has been the object of little educational research. The present study attends to this issue by systematically examining the exemplification practices of a university instructor and his students’ learning experiences during a biology lecture on animal behavior. It is reported that the science instructor provided students with a series of procedural, conceptual, and analytical examples. Each of these three types of exemplification was characterized by a unique focus, form, and functions (inductive articulation of generalities, deductive application of concepts, social positioning, engagement of learners, and opening classroom dialogue). Further, it is also shown that exemplification can shape student science learning experiences in varied ways (positive and negative) depending on how it interacts with parallel instructional activities such as whole-class discussion, text reading, and student writing. Based on these findings, we argue that conceiving of exemplification simply in terms of conceptual illustration does not do justice to this important dimension of science instruction.
Principal Author: Deborah Tucker, Independent Science Education ConsultantAbstract:
Co-Authors: Grant Gardner, Assessment Services, Inc.
This session focuses on hands-on performance assessment and how ASTE members can facilitate deepening understanding of both (1) using this type of assessment in K-12 classrooms, and, (2) pre-service science teachers’ understandings of different purposes of assessment. Several of the NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation (2012) and 2003 Standards (e.g., 8a, 8b, 8c) addressing not just core disciplinary ideas, but science practices as well, will be included:
2a) Plan multiple lessons using a variety of inquiry approaches that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how students learn science.
2c) Design instruction and assessment strategies that confront and address naïve concepts/preconceptions.
3b) Develop lesson plans that include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data ….
3c) Plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to analyze student learning and to evaluate if the learning goals are met….
5a) Collect, organize, analyze, and reflect on diagnostic, formative and summative evidence …
5c) Engage students in developmentally appropriate inquiries that require them to develop concepts and relationships from their observations, data, and inferences in a scientific manner.
We learn from a 2012 study (Aydeniz and Southerland, 233) that “standardized testing has a significant influence on science teachers’ instructional and assessment practices in ways that are counter to the learning goals promoted by science education reformists.” Implications for science teacher educators from this study include placing “a greater emphasis on pre-service science teachers’ understandings of different purposes of assessment.” (ibid., 254)
With the “ongoing struggle toward developing pre-service teacher competencies with regard to performance assessment” (Paulson, 2010), this session focuses on increasing both understanding and competence. Workshop participants may use the relevant strategies and information presented directly with their beginning teachers.
Principal Author: Kevin D.. Finson, Bradley UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jon E.. Pedersen, University of Nebraska
An emergent data analysis technique was employed to test the veracity of a conceptual framework constructed around visual data use and instruction in science classrooms. The framework incorporated all five key components Vosniadou (2007a, 2007b) described as existing in a learner’s schema: framework theory, presuppositions, conceptual domains, concepts, and specific theories. The framework was designed to guide science educators in making more effective use of visual data in instructional contexts. We identified emergent data in the form of critical salients in 15 chapters of a book written by 39 authors addressing visual data in PreK-16+ science.
An iterative process was used to analyze chapter content following protocols similar to those described by Suter (2012), Ryan and Bernard (2003), and Merriam (2009) for qualitative emergent data identification and analysis. In particular, we employed narrative analysis using a “cut and sorting” technique wherein a narrative is read with the purpose of identifying key words, ideas or statements that occur in it. Those key statements are then placed in lists such that similar ideas/statements are grouped together. These groupings are then examined to determine commonalities, or themes, that emerge. The themes are coded, and then sorted according to how they address or answer guiding questions or fit within an identified conceptual framework derived from an existing theory.
The purpose of the comparative process was to assess the applicability of the designed framework to multiple ideas generated about visual data by chapter authors who wrote their manuscripts without being specifically guided by Vosniadou’s conceptual change model. For a matching protocol, we determined the congruency between a critical idea and the coded theme in the highest applicable hierarchical position within the framework to determine the level of specificity for the match. The veracity of the framework would be tested in this manner.
Principal Author: Molly H. Weinburgh, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cecilia Silva, Texas Christian University; Kathy H.. Smith, Tarleton State University
Our research focuses on the issue of helping in-service teachers develop the skills and knowledge to help their emerging bilingual students acquire scientific conceptual knowledge and the language that supports the conceptual learning. In addition, we focus our work on developing the science practice of using mathematics and computational thinking. To do this, three professors (science education, bilingual/ELL education and mathematics education) co-taught a yearlong, integrated professional development (PD) experience for 34 biology teachers. The 5R Instructional model was used as a framework for building science, mathematics and language knowledge. We examined long-term PD that integrates science, math, and language for 34 biology teachers to determine what parts were most beneficial to the teachers and how they used their new knowledge/skills in their teaching. Data were collected using teacher responses to reflective prompts, artifacts accessible from Dropbox and Evernote files, field notes from PD sessions, and focus group discussions. The first cycle coding was descriptive, chunking together big ideas as a way to condense data. From these, a second cycle was used to develop categories and later themes. The artifacts in Dropbox and Evernote were used to provide further evidence of themes. The themes and subthemes that emerged were: emerging bilingual (concerns, strategies), mathematics integration (organized visuals), and trust (physical, emotional). The analysis provided evidence that the teachers selected the P.D. because there was a strong focus on strategies for teaching biology to emerging bilingual. A less strong but still prevalent theme was the integration of mathematical thinking that was included in the P.D. Unexpected was an underlying sense of trust that teachers found from long-term P.D.
Principal Author: Colby Tofel-Grehl, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
In preparing secondary science teachers to address the many facets of NGSS standards as well as the learning needs of diverse populations, new approaches are needed. To that end, this paper reports findings from a semester long study of approximately 20 secondary science preservice teachers (PSTs). The study follows these students as they prepare for their student teaching and into it.
Often preservice teachers in secondary science feel passion for the content they love, not the processes of teaching. Student teachers at this level report frustration with methods classes that fail to link their content to the skills they require to become successful secondary teachers. Using electronic textiles (e-textiles) and 3D printing as tools, this study explores the affective and efficacy changes experienced by PSTs during the process of enculturation into the teaching of secondary science through multiple methods courses.
Principal Author: Warren J. DiBiase, UNC CharlotteAbstract:
Co-Authors: David K. Pugalee, UNC Charlotte
The UNC Charlotte 49ers Teach Program supports outstanding science students in becoming K-12 math and science teachers through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship. The 49er Teach Program at the University of North Carolina Charlotte offers competitive, generous scholarships and collaborative education research and teaching opportunities to junior and senior undergraduates majoring in science.
The NOYCE Scholarship provides tuition and expenses up to $12,500 each year up to two years. During those two years, Scholars will serve as Learning Coaches for either introductory physics or chemistry classes. Scholars will also have multiple opportunities to work with science teachers and students in high needs districts. Science educators and classroom teachers will be assigned as mentors to each Scholar to ensure their progress through the Scholarship Program.
In exchange for this support, Noyce Scholars agree to work as Learning Coaches in introductory physics or chemistry classes at UNC Charlotte and in a high-need school district upon graduation for two years for each year they receive the scholarship.
The UNC Charlotte 49er Teach Program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a national grant program also called the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The NSF supports this and other similar programs across the country with the goal of encouraging exceptional science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. Furthermore the program seeks to develop these promising new teachers into leaders in raising the bar, especially in high needs districts.
Principal Author: Francine Wizner, University at AlbanyAbstract:
This is an examination of the manner in which an educator uses scientific content humor and how that humor is perceived by his students. Content humor is a useful strategy in drawing the attention of students and improving their receptivity toward scientific information. Previous studies have found that humor has an overall positive effect on learning. However, few studies have been conducted below the undergraduate level and mainly quantitative measures of student recall have been used as a measurement tool. This study employed multiple data sources to determine how a secondary biology teacher used humor in order to explain scientific concepts and how their students perceived their teachers' use of scientific instructional humor. All of the scientific instructional humor used was cognitive in nature, varying among factual, procedural, conceptual, and metacognitive knowledge. The humor events occurred for the purpose of establishing rapport or having students make connections between scientific concepts and prior knowledge. Student perceptions were that the teacher did employ humor toward instructional objectives that helped their learning. Helping students become critical thinkers is a trademark of science teachers. Science teachers who take the risk of adopting some attributes of comedians may earn the reward of imparting behaviors on their students like critical thinking skills, the ability to explore questions in a detached manner, and the ability to search out new perspectives. The results of this research may encourage additional study on how secondary science teachers use humor to explain scientific concepts and may also encourage science teachers to investigate novel ways that instructional humor can be used in their classrooms.